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10 Numbers That Can Make or Break Your Retirement

May 18, 2017
Investing, Retirement Planning
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In the huge and complex world of retirement, focus on the key numbers — the ones that provide guidance on how to plan, how much to save and how to invest for the future.

  1. Your salary: The amount workers should aim to save for retirement increases by age, according to Fidelity Investments’ savings factor formula. By 30, the goal is to have saved the equivalent of one times your annual salary. By 35, savings should be two times your pretax annual income; three times by 40; four times by 45; six, seven and eight times your salary for ages 50, 55 and 60; and 10 times by age 67 — all in order to have enough money to replace preretirement income through age 93.
  1. 52%: Percentage of workers who say they and/or their spouse have never tried to calculate how much money they’ll need to retire, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Retirement Confidence Survey. (A retirement calculator can tell you where you stand.)
  1. $23,500: Maximum amount the IRS allows savers younger than 50 to plow into tax-favored retirement savings accounts in 2017 — up to $18,000 in a workplace plan such as a 401(k), and $5,500 in an IRA.
  1. 50: Minimum number of birthday candles required to make catch-up retirement savings contributions. Those 50 and older are allowed to contribute an additional $6,000 to a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored account, and an additional $1,000 to an IRA.
  1. $1,360: Current average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker.
  1. 8%: Percentage the monthly Social Security benefit goes up each year you postpone taking benefits beyond your full retirement age up to a maximum increase of 24% for those born in 1960 or later.
  1. $0: Amount in fees 7 in 10 401(k) plan participants polled by AARP said (erroneously) they paid.
  1. 1.2% ($1.20): Average amount an employee pays in 401(k) fees, including administrative and investment expenses, per $100 invested in a small company 401(k) plan (with $1 million to $10 million in assets) versus 0.52% total fees for large company plans ($100 million to $250 million in assets), according to a BrightScope/Investment Company Institute report.
  1. $155,000: Amount a median-income working couple could lose to 401(k) fees over a lifetime, according to public policy group Demos.
  1. $10: Amount extra per week a 35-year-old earning $50,000 would need to save to increase her retirement account contribution by 1% and have an additional $71,000 by the time she retires.

Dayana Yochim is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website: Email: [email protected] Twitter: @DayanaYochim.

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by USA Today.