As I’ve mentioned here many times in past posts, retirement has changed a lot over the years. It’s a far cry from the retirement of your parents’ and grandparents’ eras. Some of the biggest reasons for that change are that people are living longer, healthier lives and the mechanisms available for saving for retirement are different. Furthermore, the sources of income your parents and grandparents relied on for retirement–things such as pensions or Social Security payments–either are rare today or come nowhere near covering living costs in retirement. In this day and age, people are living longer in retirement and are required to cover more of the costs on their own. Thus, it’s important that when you plan and save for retirement that you are realistic about how much money you will need and how long your retirement will be. For example, if you plan to retire at 65, it’s not inconceivable that your retirement could last 20 to 25 years. Heck, you might even end up spending three decades in retirement. That’s a long time and could cost a lot of money. Thus, you will want to keep that in mind as you plan and save. You will want to make sure that the rate you are saving and the amount you are saving can realistically get you through retirement. You will want to pay particular attention to the age at which you plan to retire, the things you want to do in retirement, and maybe your family history (i.e. Do people tend to live longer than average in your family? Are there health concerns that run in your family?). A good financial planner or wealth manager will help you work through these questions and help put you on a path towards the retire you desire.