One of the most often published stories is the one bearing the headline: $1 million is needed to retire comfortably.

Unfortunately, retirement isn’t as simple as that. Every person will have a specific set of needs, wants, beliefs, preferences and prejudices that will dictate how much capital they should have tucked away before they can transition from relying on gainful employment to financial independence.

There are many organisations that will try to fit you into a box and tell you how much you should live off in retirement. The first is the Federal Government. It will tell you when you can retire and on how much.

The full aged pension currently sits a $41,704 a year for a home-owning couple and $27,664 for a single. If you don’t take action, this is the fall back one-size-fits-all solution you will be offered.

A good place to start is working out how much you need to live now, and then decide how much more or less than that you will require to truly feel financially comfortable.

Choose the number that works for you, then reverse engineer how much capital you’ll need to achieve that and how you’ll get there.