Unfortunately, many Americans are already behind on building their nest eggs. Particularly concerning is the average retirement savings of adults in their forties. Ideally, by that age, most people have had about 20 years of earned wages under their belt and should have a nice chunk of retirement savings put away. However, the median retirement savings of U.S. households headed by someone aged 44 to 49 is just $6,200. That means about half of those households have saved more, and half have saved less.
So how can you ensure you are prepared for retirement? A good rule of thumb is to have the equivalent of your salary saved by age 30 and to have ten times your final salary in savings if you want to retire by age 67.
Many clients ask me how much they should expect to spend in retirement, which can be a hard amount to predict. There are many factors to consider when calculating your expenditures, including housing, food, transportation, health care and insurance, personal care and more. Because the amount uniquely depends on your lifestyle, it is especially important to plan ahead so you’re set for the long term.
It’s never too late to develop a retirement strategy. Start by determining your goals. Do you plan on funding a grandchild’s education? Or investing in a second home? Or even traveling around the world? By determining how you want to live out your retirement, you’ll have a better sense of how much you need to save. Prepare a written retirement strategy that addresses your retirement income and cash flow needs, investments, borrowing, asset protection and other areas of your financial life.
Here are some more tips:
Although there are variables with retirement savings including inflation, market fluctuations, health care costs, family responsibilities and other unforeseen events, saving for retirement shouldn’t be frightening. Successful planning can make it as simple as following a well-thought out investment roadmap.
Shelley Ford is a Financial Advisor with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Denver. Shelley can be reached at 303-572-4839 or Shelley.Ford@morganstanley.com.
The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, or its affiliates. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, member SIPC.