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Watching Your Wallet: Decade-by-decade, experts help you save for retirement

Even if you are behind recommended goals, there are ways to catch up

(Gray News) – Ever logged into your 401k account and wondered, “How do I stack up? Am I going to have enough saved for retirement?”
InvestigateTV asked people for the age they plan to stop working.
“Probably not anytime soon. Whenever I can afford it,” Jason Walker said. He said he thinks about it often, “Yeah, my wife and I plan for it all the time.”
Neil Schultz said he would love to retire: “Honestly, I don’t know if that will be possible or when that would be.”
Danielle Thomas said her idea of retirement isn’t like everyone else’s. She believes in scaling back.
“I mean, my goal would be to retire at like 35, which is a decade from now,” she said with a laugh.
An expert from the financial website NerdWallet said it’s important to start thinking about retirement around Thomas’ age but there are ways to catch up.
“Don’t panic! Don’t stress, but you know, a little stress can be motivational you know this is important right!” said Arielle O’Shea with NerdWallet.
O’Shea said you can look at retirement savings goals by decade and try to keep up with them.
“These are goals. And you should not panic if you have not met these goals because…they’re stretch goals,” said O’Shea.
For example, O’Shea said by age 30 you should have one to two times your annual salary saved up. That doesn’t mean just in a savings account; that includes your any 401k or IRA accounts.
In your 40′s, she said you should have two to three times your annual salary saved. By 50, it jumps to six times your annual salary.
“So, you’re getting close to retirement, and those are some peak earning years. If you’re lucky, your children are out of your house and hopefully some of those life expenses are going down, so you can save a little more,” O’Shea said.
By the time you retire at age 65, 66 or 67, O’Shea said you want to have eight to 10 times your annual salary saved up.
“I can’t stress enough that these are benchmarks. They may or may not apply to you. And so, you really want look at your life, your spending, your saving and make sure that you are doing everything you that you can be doing to save enough for retirement,” O’Shea said.
Some ideas to start saving are: getting your 401K company match if you have one, banking all the extra money that comes your way and consistently contributing to a retirement account, like an IRA.
“[It’s] a good reminder, a good motivator to check in on your progress at these ages and sort of make sure that you’re on the right track,” O’Shea said.
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