“Eh, I’ll be alright. I’m gonna get a job that makes me 6-figs and then invest my earnings so I’ll be making bank by the time I’m old. I got it all under control…”
Well, according to a survey from Finance Buzz, 35% of Americans have nothing set aside for retirement...
Believe it or not, there is a difference between building wealth and saving for retirement. So even if you made millions off of bitcoin last month, that does not mean you are going to be rolling in benjamins until the day you die.
Setting yourself up for life takes real effort, time, and planning.
In this article, we will talk about how much you should aim to save at each age to set yourself up for retirement.
When it comes to planning for retirement, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But if you’re reading this article, then you understand that it is important to plan ahead no matter what your goals are.
According to Fidelity.com, you should aim to have at least 1x your annual salary by age 30. So if you’re making $50,000/year at age 30, then you should have $50,000 saved.
This continues and increases every decade:
40 years old = 3x your salary
50 years old = 6x your salary
60 years old = 8x your salary
67 years old = 10x your salary
These numbers created by Fidelity also assume that you are investing at least 50% of your savings so that they are compounding your retirement funds over time. This means, the earlier you start, the better.
To keep on track with these goals, you should aim to save 15-25% of your salary every year. Generally, you can start with a lower percentage like 15%, and incrementally push towards saving 25% of your salary as you become more stable in your career.
Okay, that was pretty straightforward right?
Hold your horses! There are still some factors we need to consider...
These numbers are a great place to start aiming for your goals. Kinda like if you were to go to the gym with a specific plan for your workout instead of just showing up and saying “I’m gonna workout today.”
But just like the gym, everyone has different goals - Maybe you can’t start saving until you’re 36 because you’ve spent the last 10 years drowning in student debt. Maybe you want to live large in retirement and travel to a different country every year. Or maybe you just want to retire earlier than age 67.
To break it down, there are two simple factors to think about when planning your retirement:
When you want to retire.
Your retirement lifestyle.
When you want to retire
The more time you give yourself to save for retirement, the smaller your factors will be…
If you start saving at age 20, then you will have a much easier time reaching a $40,000 savings goal by the time you turn 30. And if you start saving earlier, you may even be able to retire earlier.
In contrast, if you start saving for retirement later in life, then you may have to wait later to retire.
The age you plan to retire will determine how aggressive or passive you can be with your saving strategy.
How you want your lifestyle to be when you retire
These numbers put together by Fidelity are created so you can continue your pre-retirement lifestyle.
And keep in mind that everyone’s pre-retirement lifestyle is different...
Let’s say Mike is living a comfortable life and spending $50,000 a year to support himself and his wife in a condo in Los Angeles, CA. Mike’s savings goals are going to be very different from someone like Bob who spends $20,000 annually to support himself and his two dogs in his Colorado Springs apartment.
When considering how you want your post-retirement lifestyle to look like, you can think about downgrading, upgrading, or continuing your pre-retirement lifestyle.
If you want to continue your pre-retirement lifestyle, then these numbers we gave you should serve as a great foundation.
But if you want to increase your annual spending after retirement, then you may want to aim for a number closer to 12x your annual income after your retirement age.
And if you want to downgrade your annual spending, then you can be more relaxed about your savings goal and maybe aim for 8x your annual income.
If you follow these numbers, you will at least be ahead of the average American.