Figuring out how much you need for retirement is a big deal. It can mean the difference between living comfortably in retirement or being financially strapped. Financial planners often recommend that you’ll need about 80% of your pre-retirement income to maintain the same lifestyle you had pre-retirement. However, the exact amount may depend on any lifestyle changes and an increase in the cost of living.
According to the Federal Reserve Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households Report, although three-fourths of non-retired adults had at least some retirement savings, about one-fourth had none. Of those who had some type of retirement savings, only 40 percent of non-retirees thought their retirement savings was on track.
It’s never too late to start planning and saving for retirement. If you already have a plan in place, it may be a good time to reevaluate your plan and determine if the amount you aim to have upon retirement is adequate to meet your needs. Read on to learn about recommended retirement saving benchmarks.
Benchmarks for Retirement
Keep in mind that these benchmarks are only estimates and don’t consider individual goals or unknown variables, such as travel plans and expenses, future medical expenses, or life expectancy. The age you plan to retire can have a huge impact on the amount you need to save. The longer you work and delay retirement, the longer your savings will have to grow.
Personal Retirement Goals
Your personal goals for retirement will have a lot to do with your unique retirement savings benchmarks. For example, plans to retire early or purchase a second home will mean more savings will be needed at an earlier age. Anticipated medical costs may also impact the amount you should save. Here are some questions to ask yourself that will impact the amount you will need for retirement.
- At what age do I plan to retire?
- Will I continue to work part-time or retire completely?
- Will my expenses increase or decrease after retirement?
- How much will healthcare cost in retirement?
- What are my retirement income sources?
- At what age do I plan on taking social security and how much will I get?
- How much debt do I have?
- What will my retirement tax situation be?
- How long will my money last in retirement?
How much should you save to reach the benchmarks for retirement?
While people in their 20s just starting their careers should begin saving for retirement, many don’t. The Federal Reserve report mentioned above estimates that about 62% of those aged 18-29 have started some type of retirement savings. Of that group, only 30% believe they are saving enough.
Why is it so important to start saving early? The earlier you start to save for retirement, the more time your money will have to accumulate compound interest, which can significantly boost your savings. As we mentioned, experts recommend starting early in your career with a focus on saving 15% of your salary. That 15% will put you on track to have the equivalent of the recommended 1X of your salary by age 30. If your employer offers a 401(k) match, you will certainly want to save enough to qualify for the full match. After all, it is free money.
Finally, save an emergency fund so you have money saved for unexpected expenses. This will prevent you from dipping into your retirement savings. Need some tips for saving? Read our blog “22 Tips to Boost Your Savings in 2022.”
The bottom line on retirement savings
Everyone’s situation is different, and we recommend you meet with a financial professional who can help you develop a plan to meet your retirement goals. Guthrie Community Credit Union members can open a Traditional IRA Account, a Roth IRA Account, or invest in an IRA Share Account. They’re all great ways to save for a more financially secure retirement. Tap to learn more about Guthrie’s Individual Retirement Account options.