Most Americans aren’t. Forty-three percent of Americans have less than ten grand saved and one in three have nothing saved for the future. That means a lot of Americans are going to have to play catch up if they want to enjoy their golden years.
Today’s generation is being taught the value of money and of saving money at younger and younger ages. By having an idea of how much money you should generally save at different points of your life, you can make sure you are on track to reach your retirement goals and to make any financial changes as necessary to get you back on track if you’ve lost your way.
It’s important to understand that how much an individual saves really depends upon various factors, including annual salary, debt that must be paid off, and so on.
Typical twenty-somethings are generally graduating college, enjoying their lives, and starting their careers. Still, it’s never too early to start saving for retirement or that rainy day. Experts recommend that those in their twenties should save between 10 and 15 percent of their salaries each year if they want to keep their savings at that rate through their forties.
Many people in their twenties, however, also have to worry about paying off their student loans and often don’t think as much about their retirement, instead waiting until they hit their thirties to really start saving.
Hitting thirty is a big deal today, and if you’ve been staying on track, you probably have paid a considerable amount of your student loans off. You probably also started a 401K account; how much you have already saved depends on your salary. But, experts recommend, if you haven’t started saving yet, you should start saving more – between 15 and 25 percent – of your annual salary during your thirties.
Some people actually retire in their forties, especially if they hit it big with an idea or a business. But, if you’re just starting to plan for retirement in your forties, you should start putting away the savings at an even greater rate with experts recommending 25 to 35 percent of your annual salary.
If you start saving early enough, you can have a million dollars in the bank by the time you retire. But, even if you’re hitting your 50s and haven’t begun saving, it’s not too late to start, though you will be required to save considerably more of your salary each year, as much as more than half of your annual salary, according to experts.
Tips for Saving
- Talk with a financial advisor as early in your career as possible to determine how much you need to save and how much you can conceivably save for retirement. Take into consideration how you plan to live: Will you live in a home that’s paid off, or will you plan to live in a retirement home?
- Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. A financial advisor can help you determine how much to put in your 401K and advise you on investment opportunities.
- It’s never too late to start saving. No matter how young or old you are, start making a plan now. Check out CNN Money’s retirement calculator to help you get started.
Retirement will arrive faster than most people anticipate. Planning is essential to those proverbial happy golden years. Take every step you can now to ensure your future is financially sound.
George Gallagher is a personal finance and education blogger. He also works with recent high school graduates to find not-for-profit private student loans.