Of all the financial goals we are asked for our help in achieving, retirement is the most common. The financial media drones on and on about what investors need to do and to be thinking about. The top 5 lists abound, itemizing the do’s and don’ts of retirement planning. As I reflect on my twenty years of retirement planning, I realize that most rules of thumb do not work well. The best planning is rooted in sound cash flow management. Each investor, retired or otherwise, needs to have a cash flow budget. A good cash flow statement tells us a lot about the reasonableness of retirement goals. How much we spend and save is the linchpin to any successful retirement plan.