It is fashionable in the community of retirement advice-givers to talk about your “magic number” for retirement. That’s the amount of money you should accumulate by the time you retire so that savings last the rest of your life, or some fixed period like your life expectancy.
The magic number is based on your achieving average results over the long term. And perhaps that will work out. You might not live longer than average. The stock market in which your savings are invested might hit the average return of the past several decades.
Or maybe it won’t work. It is disconcerting to plan for “average” when you realize how average might work to your disadvantage.
Take this example: A small pond could average three feet in depth. You might plan to walk from one side to the other. But start at the sandy beach where you enter the water, where the depth averages just a few inches as you take several steps toward the center of the pond. In fact, More