What to do as retirement nears

See how your savings measure up

Personal savings is a critical source of retirement income. But how quickly can we draw down our 401(k)s, IRAs and other investment accounts without running the risk of outliving our savings?

A staple of retirement planning is something known as the 4% rule. It says you can expect your savings to last about 30 years if you withdraw an inflation-adjusted 4.5% a year.

The record-low interest rates we're enduring today have caused some investment advisers to question whether that's too much. But it still provides a reasonable starting point.

Multiply the balance in all of your retirement accounts and other savings by 0.045, then divide by 12 to get amount you can safely withdraw each month. Add that to your Social Security and pension payments to get a good estimate of your monthly retirement income.

Now, are you approaching 70% of what you're making today?