The amount that you contribute to your retirement savings can be one of the most important aspects of retirement planning, and may be the biggest factor in determining how much savings you will have when you retire. Consider the following three options for determining how much you may need to save each year. 

  • Option 1: Use a 10% rule of thumb
    As a general guideline, at least 10% of your income should be contributed annually to your retirement plan in order to have enough income during retirement (6% if your employer matches; more if you are starting to save later in life).
    • Be sure to find out how much your employer will match – matching contributions can provide a valuable boost to your retirement savings.
    • While this 10% guideline is a helpful starting point, it’s based on a hypothetical investor who saved 10% for 30 years and whose income at the beginning of the period was less than $100,000. 
  • Option 2: Use an online calculator
    Since so many personal factors can affect the amount you should save for retirement, you may want to use an online calculator to help factor in some of these variables. 
    • Start by determining how much you will need to save now to enjoy a comfortable retirement.
    • After answering a few brief questions, including the amount you are currently saving, you’ll get a better idea if you are on track, or whether you need to boost your monthly savings. You will have the opportunity to create some “what-if” scenarios – for example, “what if” you increased your savings rate or planned to retire a few years later?
    • Keep in mind that saving even a little more today can have a big impact 30 years from now. 
  • Option 3: Work with a financial advisor
    Working with a financial advisor to develop your retirement plan can help ensure your strategies are aligned with your goals and adjustments are made over time to help you remain on track. 

If you are unable to save 10% or what a calculator or advisor tells you, still try to save something. A small start today can have a big impact later.

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