Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Parallels of Retirement Planning to the Project Management Triangle

Anyone who has had any exposure to project management has been ingrained with the concept of the Project Management Triangle.  The corners of that triangle represent time, cost and scope.  Modifying the value of any of these factors could affect the other two.  If it is necessary for a project to be delivered sooner, then two options are to increase cost (with more overtime) or decrease scope of functionality.  Adversely skewing these factors could impact the overall quality of the deliverable.

It is interesting to note how much this paradigm applies to retirement planning as well.  Time maps very closely to age of retirement. Cost equates to the amount of savings needed to fund the retirement.  Scope can be compared to the type of lifestyle you can sustain in your retirement years, whether that is measured in terms of vacations, hobbies, homes, vehicles or whatever is applicable.

If you want to retire early with an extravagant lifestyle, then you would need a large amount of savings.  If you don't have the savings, then you either need to work longer to both save more and reduce the number of years of retirement, and/or cut back on the lifestyle.

These were the factors that we juggled when trying to determine when we could retire, how much we needed to save, what type of lifestyle that would afford us, and how long the money would last for.  The tools and calculators described in our book "Retired at 48" helped us play out different "what-if" scenarios that led to our establishment of our balanced retirement triangle.


  1. In a way, both triangles are reflecting most important indicators one needs in a retirement decision making....

  2. I like your style to describe life cycle. Nice way to tell us about life management.
    Retirement Planning