How much needed for retirement?
I came across an article that mirrors some of my feelings on retirement income need, http://www.moneysense.ca/2011/05/12/why-there%E2%80%99s-no-retirement-crisis/.
To me it is just common sense that you need more income when you are paying a mortgage then if you own your home, that you don't have the work related costs of transportation and perhaps business attire, raising a family costs money, and you no longer need to save money for retirement.
When I was in Vancouver we typically put about 25% of household income to mortgage. If household income was cut in half, 2/3rds of the tax bill would be gone, and about 10% was put to retirement saves. Those three things bring income required down to 45% of pre-retirement household income. The reduced taxes and to have no mortgage in Vancouver would be huge.
I think the comment about health care and home care are very valid. There is also no question that you can spend a fortune if you are intent on doing more of the things that are expensive, like travel and some forms of entertainment.
I remember a discussion with a friend who was coming up to retirement and was undecided about when to retire. He was saying his wife's retirement travel desires would cost $20-30k per year. Those kinds of expectations really would reduce how far retirement income goes.