Ask Terry Questions Retirement


By Terry Savage on January 04, 2024 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Hi, Terry. I am 59 and hubby will be 62 in April. He retired in July 2022 and currently has a monthly income of $240.00 from an old pension. He plans on taking Social Security as soon as he hits 62, and his monthly check would be about $1800. I am currently still working, with a yearly salary of $138,000. We have about $1.6 million saved up for retirement. I am working with a financial advisor to figure out the “magic number” needed to retire. We hope to clear $100K per year in retirement so that we don’t need to curb our activities or spending on our first grandchild.

What percentage do you recommend that I have in “chicken money” vs. other types of funds? Also, what final amount should I have saved up to clear the $100K/year? My social security check would be $2512 /month if I start taking distributions at 62. One last question – health coverage concerns me and I am not sure how much to budget for that prior to age 65. Is there a good source to look it up? COBRA through a former employer showed that it would cost me $20K/year for comparable coverage to what I have now. Ouch!

Thanks –

Terry Says

First step, get a new financial advisor!! Anyone who lets both of you start taking SS at age 62 without letting you know this is the biggest mistake of your life is NOT a qualified financial advisor.

Second, your insurance until you reach age 65 and have Medicare is only part of your problem. Here’s a headline from June, 2023: “Fidelity Investments® today shared its 22nd annual Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, revealing that a 65-year-old retiring this year can expect to spend an average of $157,500 in health care and medical expenses throughout retirement.”
And for both of you with rising costs, expect to spend more than $300,000 on healthcare.
That will make a huge dent in your savings.

Bottom line, you are about to make some huge and irrevocable mistakes because you are getting bad advice!
Please take this advice: Make at least one appointment with a fee-only, fiduciary advisor. Find one here:



a personal
finance question