01 Mar

How Much Is Enough?

Pile Of MoneyPhoto Credit: RefractedMoments

We struggled with this question when we were planning our RTW trip in 2009.

Back then we were able to look at other traveler’s budget sheets, research costs in each country, figure out air fares and figure out how big the chunk of money would have to be in order to travel for a year. It was a lot of work, and a ton of anxiety, but by the time we came up with a number we were pretty confident that it was the right number. Then all we had to do was save it…piece of cake…right?

Now we find that we are struggling with the same question only the answers don’t seem as obvious.

Our Responsibly Irresponsible plan says that we will stay in Canada, work, and save money for our eventual retirement. Our goal is to save enough money in a very short period of time so that it will grow to be enough by the time we’re too old to work. The idea is that, once we have saved the magic number we can go off gallivanting; making just enough money to sustain us in the short term because the long term will be taken care of.

So…what’s the magic number?

It’s actually two magic numbers, one being dependant on the other. I guess the ultimate magic number is the amount of money we would want available when we won’t be working any longer. The other magic number is the amount of money we have to save in order for it to grow to the ultimate number between now and then.

And that’s where the How Much Is Enough question comes in.

So, how much money do you think two people will need for retirement?


Have you read our review of The Long Term Traveler’s Guide? It is the most comprehensive guide on the subject that I have seen anywhere and, at$25 it’s a great value for those of you looking to get a leg up on researching and planning. The digital package includes resources and planning tools that are worth the price alone. If you are planning a big trip you should definitely check it out.

We’re giving a copy away!! Jeremy has given us a copy of the book and the digital package for us to share with you. All you have to do is ‘Like’ our OneGiantStep Facebook Page. It’s also a great resource for travel articles and great conversation. So come on over, give us a ‘Like’ and be entered to win a copy of The Long Term Traveler’s Guide.

We’ll be drawing a random name from all the ‘Likes’ (whether new or old) on March 15th.

8 thoughts on “How Much Is Enough?

  1. You need a lot more money than you think you’re going to, especially if you want to do any amount of travel – even budget travel- in your old age. Then factor in healthcare and the reality is we will all be paying for more services in the next 10 years. One of the best things you can do for your budget is to stay healthy.

    Save for a rainy day but try to live within your means and don’t get sucked into a lot of debt because of low interest rates. We will be working for a long time (and that’s OK) to maintain our standard of living BUT what I have done is to make one TFSA account available for travel in the long term and to use the other one for any health related issues.

    Long-winded – sorry.
    Leigh recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday: There is Beauty in a Canadian Winter

  2. Ignoring the future value of money, I’d like to have $4-$5 million (for two) saved in retirement by the time I’m 55 and quit. Of course, we have several options we are considering that would drastically change the number we would need. One of which is living in another country. But who knows with the way things go what would actually be achievable. As of now my retirement account has a grand total of $5,000 give or take.
    Jeremy recently posted..10 Travel Photos for Your Facebook Timeline Cover

    • $4-$5 MILLION?!! Are you pulling my leg Jeremy? Do you really think you’ll need that much? I was thinking in the order of 10% of that! I thought I might be out of whack but there is no way I’ll be making $5,000,000. Wow. Food for thought.
      Gillian recently posted..How Much Is Enough?

      • Do I think we will need that much? No, not really. But I like to put the goal high so that way we can live better than what we’d need. That number was developed assuming we retire between 50-55, live to 90+, and spend the same amount we would as if we were working. Granted, when we are retired we will not need 30% of that strictly because we won’t be saving for retirement anymore. Hopefully we also won’t be paying off loans, or a house, or other big ticket items.

        But we do also pay for healthcare, being from the US and all, so that could be crazy too. I’m also factoring in social security going bankrupt and not getting a penny in pension from any government or business entity. Better safe than sorry :)
        Jeremy recently posted..10 Travel Photos for Your Facebook Timeline Cover

  3. Bob and I were just talking about money and travel. We love to travel- but we also want to afford a house and have kids. How to travel and save money at the same time? It is something that is a constant tug of war with us. Right now we have about 1,000 saved for a rainy day. Not that much. Hopefully we can save more!
    jade recently posted..Longing for Summer & A $250 Expedia Giveaway!

    • Don’t you just wish we could do it all?! Our number one priority right now is figuring out what it would take to make the leap. We want to be prepared should an opportunity arise.

  4. Pingback: » Turns Out It’s Not About That Number At All » One Giant Step

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