Smart Money Podcast: ‘Am I Saving Enough for Retirement?’

Sean Pyles
By Sean Pyles 
Edited by Kathy Hinson

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Welcome to NerdWallet’s Smart Money podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions — in 15 minutes or less.

This week’s question is from Alison M. She asks: “Dayana and Sean, I’ve been putting away 10% of my income into retirement for the past 12 years, but am not sure if I’m saving enough. Am I on track for a comfortable retirement?”

Our tips:

Aim to save at least 10% to 15% of your pre-tax income. That’s what most experts recommend, and it’s a good starting point for your calculations. Consider that if you’re able to save 15% of your paycheck, you’ve gotten accustomed to living on 85% of your pay. That’ll make the transition into a lower income in retirement seem a lot less severe.

Run the numbers to see how far your current savings will take you. We’ll do the heavy mathematical lifting for you with NerdWallet’s retirement savings calculator! Based on your current age, income, savings and a bunch of other factors (planned retirement age, life expectancy, investment growth), find out how much you need to save for your golden years.

Little or nothing saved for retirement? Take the “Hail Mary” approach. You have a few options here. To start, you may need to redefine retirement. That can mean working part time. And if you have a house, consider tapping its value. Additionally, every year you can delay taking Social Security past age 62 adds about 7% or 8% to your annual benefits.

More about retirement savings on NerdWallet

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