How much should I have by my current age?
A lot of material crosses my desk in a given week, but one thing that caught my eye recently was a retirement report from J.P. Morgan. One of the charts in the report was titled Retirement Savings Checkpoints. If you’ve ever wondered “How much should I have saved by now?” this chart can give you a rough idea.
Just find your current salary on the top and your age on the left and then draw a line from each until they intersect. The number at the intersection point is how many multiples of your salary you should have saved by now. For example, if you make around $75,000 and you’re 55 years old then you should have about 4.1 times your salary (or about $307,500).
How much should I have by 65?
There is a general rule of thumb that says that most people need about 85% of their pre-retirement income during retirement in order to maintain their standard of living. Research done by Charles Farrell and Aon Hewitt shows that the average person can achieve that 85% replacement rate as long as they have Social Security plus 11-12 times their annual income in savings when they retire (for more on this topic read “The 15 minute retirement readiness review”). So the chart above can give you a rough idea of how much you should have saved for retirement based on your current age and income, but your ultimate goal will be to have around 12 times your annual income in savings when you retire.
That’s just an estimate of course, but it can be a helpful way to quickly gauge your progress. Ideally you’ll want to factor in the specifics of your unique situation when estimating how much you’ll need for retirement. You can do that by working with a trusted adviser or using a tool like our Ideal Retirement Design Guide.
Note: Sorry for the “radio silence” last week at the site. I was on the road visiting clients in Illinois and then spending some time in Tennessee during our daughter’s spring break. We’re trying to get her to all 50 states and Tennessee was number 22. Props to all of our Tennessee readers. We had a great time in Nashville, Franklin and Memphis.