How much is enough to retire: the $6m question

A friend of over 40 years said to me recently “Lamby, I’m retiring at 55 and I don’t need a financial adviser to tell me how much I need in my pension for me to retire, because I know how much I need; all I need is enough”.

And my friend was right. All you need is ENOUGH. Enough to give you the lifestyle that you want, without the fear of running out of money, whatever happens.

Most of my clients aren’t really interested in asking is X company better than Y company for pensions or should they be invested in the UK or emerging markets? What they really want to know is the answer that big question: How much is enough?

A friend of mine, Paul Armson, even wrote a book called ‘How Much Is Enough?’ (We have a limited number of free copies available on a first-come first-served basis and if you would like a copy, please e mail us at

Whilst ‘How much is enough?’ is the big question, I don’t think it is the BIG question – which is ‘for what?

To know how much is enough, we need to understand what your lifestyle is like now and in the future, so we can calculate your capital and income needs throughout your life to ensure that you have enough money at different stages of your life. As far as we know, we only get once chance at life, so be had better make sure we make the most of it!

Here’s an interesting question for you: thinking about your lifestyle, on a scale of one to ten, where one is the most important thing and ten is the least important thing, where would you place money on that scale?

Personally (and there is no right or wrong answer this question) I think money is at number nine.

Over the next few months, I will explain my conclusions and discuss the major factors that make up your lifestyle and how money fits into it.