Planning for retirement is often considered one of the toughest things to do thanks to rising expenses, ongoing economic challenges, and the need for financial discipline. Making matters even tougher is the fact that spending in retirement can vary hugely based on personal circumstances. A few tips may help people to effectively plan for retirement in today’s ever-changing world, according to Foster Financial Services Inc.

A commonly accepted rule in retirement planning is to replace between 70 percent and 80 percent of one’s pre-retirement income in order to maintain one’s standard of living, said James A. Foster and Linda O. Foster of Foster Financial Services Inc. in Washington. This can generally be a useful guideline because people are no longer putting money into retirement savings accounts; in addition, many of their expenses will likely disappear following retirement.

However, even though a replacement ratio can certainly be helpful for determining how much people need to save every year to build adequate nest eggs when retirement is several decades away, it is not as helpful for those who are within a decade of retiring. At this point, it is more useful to calculate how much money you will need to generate to cover all of your retirement-period expenses and have a lifestyle that you find acceptable, said Linda Foster.

A recent research study showed that people’s spending decreased by about 6 percent in the first couple of years following retirement and then kept dropping in the next several years. About four in 10 actually saw their spending plummet by a whopping 20 percent-plus. Meanwhile, more than 45 percent saw their spending increase during their beginning years of retirement. These statistics show that there is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to retirement spending. The one rule that does apply to every worker, however, is the need to come up with a budget plan and then stick to it, according to Linda O. Foster.