How much of a Nest Egg do You Need?

A Merrill Lynch survey says the average nest egg for retirement is $738-grand and that might get it done for a lot of us, but it probably won't be enough if you live in River Oaks. How much do you need to retire? It's a complicated question.

STA Wealth Management CEO Luke Patterson says you need to calculate your income sources.

"Do you get Social Security or does your spouse get Social Security? Do you have a pension? Do you have innuity income? Do you have other income sources? Do you have rental income? In addition to that do you have a large nest egg that you can hopefully live off for the rest of your life, you and your spouse?"

What do you need? Do you have to travel internationally? Do you need to buy a house? Do you have kids or grandkids still in college? Answers to those questions will determine what you'll need for a nest egg.

Patterson says the national average nest egg of $738-grand is probably not enough.

"$750,000 or so as a nest egg sounds a little light to me but if you can get 4% withdrawal rate on a million dollars, that's $40,000 a year and if you can get other income streams, say from Social Security -- maybe $30,000, $35,000 a year would put you at $75,000."

But even a million might not be enough for River Oaks. The Merrill Lynch survey identified seven key life priorities: family, health, home, work, leisure, giving, and finances.

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