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According to a study from Northwestern Mutual in 2020, 71% of Americans admit they need to improve their financial planning. This is understandable because many people are worried they’re not saving enough for retirement.
We can’t guarantee that working with a financial advisor will translate to guaranteed returns, but the research does suggest significant benefits. According to studies, those who consult with advisors often feel more financially secure and could have up to 15% more money saved for retirement.
So, How Much Should You Have Saved Up?
Age is the most significant factor in determining how much you should have saved, as retirement generally becomes more costly the longer you live. Advisors generally suggest paying your mortgage off by the time you retire and aiming to have ten times your annual salary saved if you hope to retire by 67. This means someone earning a $50,000 salary should have $500,000 socked away somewhere.
The median retirement savings account balance is $22,217, according to a 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). This number isn’t nearly as significant when stratified by age group. The median retirement account balance for people ages 56-61 is $63,000, while those aged 62-69 have saved a median of $152,000. And finally, those aged 70+ have saved a median of $264,000. So while you may feel behind on retirement savings, there’s a good chance you’re right where you should be.
If You Haven’t Started Saving Yet
It’s never too late to start saving for retirement! If you haven’t started yet or fallen behind on savings at some point, options are still available to ensure you can enjoy your golden years without worry.
Catch-up contributions allow those 50 and older to invest an extra $6,500 into their 401(k) each year in addition to their standard $19,500 contribution limit (or $26,000 if you’re over 50). That can make a massive difference down the road. For example, someone who contributes $6,500 per year starting at age 50 and earns 7% annually will have almost $430,000 saved by age 67 — even if they only contribute for 17 years. If they started saving at 25, they would need to contribute almost twice a year to end up with the same nest egg.
No matter how much you have saved for retirement so far, it’s never too late to start catching up — and plenty of resources are available to help get you there. The most important thing is to start now so you can enjoy your golden years stress-free!