The Philadelphia Inquirer Personal Finance Column
Philadelphia Inquirer (10/11/01) Vol. 46, No. 10 p.1H; Brown, Jeff

A first step in gaining a general sense of when you can afford to retire, writes Jeff Brown for the Philadelphia Inquirer, is to get a handle on your current cost of living. Keeping a list of all expenses can be made easier by way of such personal finance software as Quicken or Microsoft Money. For a rough calculation, however, one can determine their retirement "zone" by tallying annual income and then subtracting the portion saved--what is left is the cost of living, including taxes. "You'll see that the Social Security benefit will be larger if you wait to begin receiving it until you are 65 or 67 rather than when you are first eligible at 62," says Brown.

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