How Much Should You Have Saved for Retirement? There’s a Formula That Tells You

Everyone loves to think about retiring one day, but figuring out how to get to that point is a much drearier thought. With so many people living paycheck to paycheck, the thought of saving for retirement is daunting and, for many, unthinkable.

The numbers tell a scary story. A GOBankingRates survey conducted in 2016 found that an alarming 69 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts. The Economic Policy Institute also found that “nearly half of families have no retirement account savings at all.”

Everyone’s personal portfolio and finances are unique, but the general consensus among experts is that people should start saving when they’re young, even if it’s a minimal amount.

“Particularly the younger generation likes to think, ‘I’ll save more when I’m making more,'” Kimmie Greene, a money expert at financial software company Intuit, told CNBC. “But whether you’re making $50,000 a year or $200,000 a year, we all have challenges saving. Because oftentimes what happens is, when people make more, they end up spending more.”

So, specifically, how should you save as you grow older and progress in your career? Greene has a formula to follow that ranges from your entry into the workforce to the end of your career.

Greene said people in their 20s should aim to save 25 percent of their gross pay. By age 30, they should have the same amount that they earn in annual salary saved. In the five-year stretches after that, savings should grow exponentially. So, 35 year olds should have twice their salary saved, 40 year olds should have three times their salary saved, 45 year olds should have four times their salary saved, and on so. Following that pattern, by the age of 65, you should have eight times your annual salary saved, at which point you can retire comfortably.

“While this can sound super daunting today, if you’re putting that money to work starting in your 20s, it’s not as difficult as it sounds,” Greene assured.

Are you comfortable with your retirement savings, and do you think this formula is realistic for the majority of those in the workforce? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to SHARE this with those who are trying to save wisely and efficiently.