What’s the magic number?
Forgive me if I’m like the drunk at a party and I’ve already said this to you before. But it’s come up in a bunch of client meetings lately, so I’m going to tell you again. And again. And again.
Americans really like to compete when it comes to material wealth. If you are surprised by this, look no further than our current president. As such, I get asked often, “Do I have more or less than the average amount saved for someone my age?”
The answer is, there is no magic number that every 30-year old, 45-year old, or 70-year old should have in the bank. There are too many variables to come up with a pat answer. Everyone has different earnings histories, different plans for when they want to retire, different amounts of home equity, different goals, different everything!
But this might help.
The good news is, I found this handy article that gives a nice guideline of how much a person should have saved by various ages. It’s tied to income (makes sense!) and anyone can use it as a benchmark; it says you should have the equivalent of your salary saved by age 30. This includes retirement savings, emergency funds, other investments, but not home equity. (Click here for more.)
By 35, you should have 2 times your salary saved and up it goes like this every 5 years. By age 65 (traditional retirement age) you should have 10 times your salary saved.
The beauty of this guideline is that it is income based. If you earn more, you should be saving more. If you earn less you will be able to save less, but then, you’re used to living on less and don’t need such a big retirement nest egg.
Want more info on reverse mortgages without the sales pitch? Check out this guide from your friendly Federal Trade Commission: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0192-reverse-mortgages
This is a very handy chart comparing different small business retirement plans side-by-side:
This article comparing Roth and Traditional IRAs from Nerdwallet has some handy calculators built right in. https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/investing/roth-or-traditional-ira-account/
Here is another guide to different nest egg goals for different ages and incomes. http://www.financialsamurai.com/how-much-should-one-have-in-their-401k-at-different-ages/