I wrote an article for the July issue of Practical Accountant about a hypothetical married individual who was planning to retire shortly. The bulk of the couple's wealth is in their home and a 401(k) plan. As with many articles, once I started to do the interview, I received a number of responses to my questions that surprised me.

In particular, I got the distinct impression that $1 million won't necessarily mean the type of retirement that this couple expected. And why? The couple might be used to spending a lot, their expenses might be high, longer life expectancies, tax impact of withdrawing funds from 401(k) plan, a desire for a vacation home, or to travel, etc. The list goes on. And let's not forget possible increases in medical costs, plus medical and long-term care insurance premiums, and the fact that retirees often become risk adverse with their investments, thereby reducing their returns, and not keeping pace with inflation.

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