It can be difficult to save for a goal that seems far off in the future, such as retirement. For now, you may have a hundred reasons why retirement isn’t a financial priority. But there are definite advantages to putting your excuses aside and focusing on your future. If any of the following alibis sound familiar, it’s time to start giving careful consideration to how much you are saving for retirement.
Put Time on Your Side
The amount needed to save each month to reach a retirement savings goal depends on several factors, including how much time is available for potential growth.
Years until retirement: 40 30 25 20
Average annual total return: 6% 6% 6% 6%
Savings goal: $250,000 $250,000 $250,000 $250,000
Monthly savings needed: $126 $249 $361 $541
Savings goal: $500,000 $500,000 $500,000 $500,000
Monthly savings needed: $251 $498 $722 $1,082
Savings goal: $750,000 $750,000 $750,000 $750,000
Monthly savings needed: $377 $747 $1,082 $1,623
This is a hypothetical example used for illustrative purposes only. It does not represent the results of any particular investment vehicle. Your results will be different. Monthly compounding is assumed. Tax-deferred amounts accumulated in the plan are taxable upon. Amounts are rounded to the nearest dollar.
Too Many Other Things
There are always going to be other things to save for and spend money on. Paying off student loans, a down payment on a home, summer camp for the kids, college tuition — things like these are important. But it’s also important to keep saving for your retirement. Not saving enough for retirement today probably means having to put aside even more in the future.
Wow! That’s a Lot of Savings
Of all your financial goals, the amount you need to save for retirement may be the largest. But don’t let that intimidate you into not saving as much as you should. Look at building your retirement savings in small steps and saving a little toward your goal with each paycheck. And as time passes, try to contribute more. Gradually increasing the amount you contribute can help grow your account balance.
No Thanks, I’m Counting On…
Winning the lottery? Inheriting a fortune? Good luck might come your way, but counting on it for your retirement savings means you’re probably minimizing the possibility of meeting your goal. You’ll give yourself a better chance if you count on yourself to lead the way by putting the excuses aside and making saving a priority.