The updated "costs" of retirement - How much the average retiree spends while retired:
Bottom Line: The latest retirement cost analysis is out from Merrill Lynch and it's instructive. Envision what you think of as being the average retirement. Now here's what that costs...$738,400 per person. That's just the average. And $260,000 of that is for healthcare alone per person. If you want an above average retirement you can really see how those numbers can begin to add up fast given that a retired couple will need $1.5 million just to retire to an average lifestyle.
This really places importance on having a retirement plan that places appropriate emphasis on residual income through all available streams (Social Security, pension, dividends, etc.). It also demonstrates the importance of starting that planning process as early on as possible as these figures will only rise with time and inflation.