Retirement Planning Tips: How to Save Enough for a Comfortable Retirement

Retirement Planning Tips: How to Save Enough for a Comfortable Retirement

In 2022, a record sixty-nine percent of workers were offered a retirement plan as a benefit of employment. Of those, seventy-five percent took advantage of the perk.

In addition to pensions provided by employers, such as those available to public sector employees, there are various private accounts with their unique structures. A popular choice is the 401(k), which enables individuals to save money for their retirement without being taxed until they withdraw the funds many years later. Furthermore, the portion of one’s income allocated to a 401(k) can be deducted from their taxable income, potentially resulting in a lower tax rate.

Savings depends on a lot more than age…

Typically, younger workers tend to have fewer savings for retirement since they have spent fewer years in the labor force. However, years of service are not always the best indicator of whether or not one will have to save sufficiently for retirement.

Millions of workers are denied a private retirement account, and millions more may have one, but whose income is so low they are unable to make use of it. Additionally, although more workers are being offered private retirement accounts, there is no guarantee that their incomes are high enough to allow them to save what would be necessary to retire comfortably. For example, only forty percent of workers in the service sector are offered the benefit, but only a quarter actually claim the benefit. It shouldn’t be shocking that so many workers turn down the benefit, considering that last year, thirty-seven percent of households did not have more than $400 in savings.

Retirement savings by age group…

Thanks to data from Vanguard, the investment management company, and analysis by researchers at SoFi, we are able to understand the retirement savings habits of workers by age group.

Median savings in 401(k) by age group

Age  Savings 
Under 25 $6,264
25 to 34 $37,211
35 to 44 $36,117
45 to 54 $61,530
55 to 64 $89,716
65+ $87,725
Source: SoFi

Vanguard’s “How America Saves 2022″ found that the median age of workers whose 401(k) are managed by them was forty-four years. According to the investment company, the average account was opened seven years prior, indicating that many workers tend to begin thinking seriously about retirement in their mid-30s.

The median amounts identified by Vanguard are nowhere close to what financial experts would recommend workers have saved at each point in their careers. When saving for retirement, it is critical that those who are able to put away a sizable chuck of their earnings consider the monthly allowance they would like to receive. Once this figure has been identified, it must be multiplied by the number of years one should expect to receive that quantity; a cushion for inflation should also be factored in.

How much should be saved?

T. Rowe Price, the financial management company, recommends that by thirty, a worker save around half of their annual salary. From there on, the savings targets increase in five-year increments.

Savings targets by age

  • 30: 0.5x of salary saved
  • 35: 1x to 1.5x salary saved
  • 40: 1.5x to 2.5x salary saved
  • 45: 2x to 4x salary saved
  • 50: 3x to 6x salary saved
  • 55: 4.5x to 8x salary saved
  • 60: 5.5x to 11x salary saved
  • 65: 7x to 13.5x salary saved

Source: T. Rowe Price 

Remember, the earlier you start saving, the more time you are giving your funds to appreciate in value. Investopedia says that the majority of retirement accounts increase anywhere between five and eight percent a year. Over forty or fifty years, these percents add up, and it is for that reason that those able should begin saving as soon as possible.

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