While it is generally agreed that employees should be stashing 15 percent of their annual salary for retirement, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies survey found the average rate to be only 8 percent. Remember: the more you earn, the less benefits you will receive from Social Security. There is no savings rate that works for everyone, but it is important to consider the following factors when establishing yours:
- How early you begin to save
- How you invest your savings
- What age you plan to retire
- Your income
Research shows that while 20-somethings allocate about 80 percent of investments in the stock market, that number drops steadily with age. However, those 60 and up still too frequently chase yesterday’s high-return stocks and risky funds. Here is a better alternative to creating your future nest egg:
- Mix stocks and bonds according to your tolerance for risk
- Utilize diversified, low-fee funds such as index funds
- Avoid impulse decisions caused by market swings
While it is often tempting to hunt for that home-run investment, you will be much better suited for the future if you safely allocate assets and allow them to steadily grow. This strategy will not only pay off in your retirement, but also in the present, as you will likely sleep better at night knowing you are on a responsible path to financial stability.
While difficult to gauge, it’s important to assess how much of your assets you can withdraw annually. A general estimation can be eye opening, motivating you to spend a few more years in the office to fatten your nest egg. The American Institute for Economic Research’s Retirement Withdrawal Calculator is a very helpful tool, and using it each year can be a great way to adjust your spending as you age.