(NEWS CENTER Maine) -- A recent report by "GO Banking Rates" states that $1 million would last the average Mainer in retirement just shy of 19 years. NEWS CENTER Maine wanted to verify if that claim was true.
The report said Maine has higher than average housing and utility costs and tax rates. It ranked Maine the eighth hardest state to save $1 million for retirement.
We asked certified public accountant and financial coach Allison Bishop if $1 million was enough to retire in Maine, and if the timeline of 19 years is accurate.
"As an average, it might be accurate, but I think it's very different if you're talking about living in southern Maine versus the rest of the state," said Bishop. "You have two basic choices: you can increase your income or cut your expenses, or you can do both. In retirement, increasing your income isn't quite as easy as when you're younger and you might have more control over your expenses."
She said the best time to put money away is when you're young -- thank you compounding interest. She also says paying off purchases sooner -- like a car or a mortgage -- can help when the income stops.
"Those last 5 or 10 years, you're probably making the most money in your career, so you might have more disposable income."
Fred and Mary Turner, visiting Maine on a short vacation, said planning for retirement took a lot of foresight, especially given their modest beginnings.
"We didn't have anything so we worked, went to school at night. Paid as we went," said Fred Turner. "It's not just going to happen by per chance. If you think you're going to throw nickels out there and get dollars back, you're fooling yourself."
"We've sacrificed at the beginning to have a good lifestyle at the end," said his wife, Mary.
Bishop said there is no magic number for people to have saved for retirement -- it depends on a person's lifestyle, investments, taxes, etc.
Tips from Wells Fargo financial advisor Sarah Halpin:
When looking for Calculators to help with the question of “How long will my retirement savings last?” Look for calculators that ask for the following data:
1. Your Monthly income need after tax – the amount of money you need to live the life you want to live.
2. Annual increase in monthly income (cost of living) you can expenses today will cost more in future – average is 2-3%
3. Your Monthly social security income. According to Business insider link average benefit in Maine $1,314.22.
4. Any monthly pension income.
5. Your Account Balance of $1,000,000 – amount earmarked for retirement.
6. Your Annual before tax return on your million – Depends on how you invest – CD or savings versus stocks and bond mutual funds.