Fidelity’s Retirement Saving Guidelines – Are You On Track With Your Retirement Saving?
Fidelity Retirement Saving Guidelines Are Aggressive – So Start Saving Now
“Savings factor: Aim to save at least 1x your income at 30, 3x at 40, 7x at 55, 10x at 67.” ~”How Much Do I Need to Retire” at Fidelity.com
Several years ago, Fidelity made a splash with cold hard retirement numbers. The discount brokerage powerhouse told savers and investors exactly how much they needed to save for retirement at each age milestone.
- By age 30, you need the the equivalent of one year’s salary saved. So if you make $70,000 per year, you should have $70,000 saved for retirement. Remember, this isn’t your emergency fund or the kid’s college fund!
- By age 40, you need three years salary saved for retirement. So, if your salary goes up to $100,000 by age 40, you need $300,000 saved for retirement.
- By age 55, you need seven times your annual salary saved.
- By age 67, your retirement nest age should equal ten times your annual income. So if you’re earning $185,000 per year at at 67, then you need $1,850,000 saved for retirement (according to Fidelity).
How to Meet Your Retirement Savings Goals – Start Now
Fidelity’s savings factors are created based on assumptions:
- Start saving 15% of your income annually starting at age 25.
- Invest 50% or more of your savings in stocks. If history is any guide, investing greater percentages in stock investments might yield a bigger retirement nest egg.
- Retire at age 67 with pre-retirement lifestyle.
If you’re behind in your retirement saving, start now to increase your income. In today’s economic climate, it’s the rule rather than an exception to have multiple streams of income. By saving more earlier, it’s easier to meet your retirement goals.
What’s Wrong with Fidelity’s New Retirement Savings Guidelines?
If this seems daunting, Fidelity states that these are “guidelines” and not hard and fast rules. That said, there are so many variables that come into play when planning for retirement savings. The guidelines are conservative, meaning, that regardless you’ll have a tidy sum upon retirement, if you follow the Fidelity retirement suggestions.
Yet, your retirement situation could require either greater or fewer financial resources in your senior years.
Retirement Savings Guidelines; Factors to Consider
How much do you expect to receive from social security and other pensions or annuities? SSA.gov provides a print out of your expected retirement income.
Where are you going to live in retirement? If you’re planning on retiring in New York City or London England, you better have a boatload of cash saved up. Retire in Mississippi or Manila, you need much less cash for retirement.
What will you do in retirement? First off, what you may do in your 60’s will be quite different from activities in your 80’s and 90’s.
Do you plan to participate in expensive travel in retirement? If you have plans to travel the world in your later years, you might need more money than a homebody.
What are your expectations for out of pocket healthcare? Healthcare is a big unknown. A recent CNBC.com article stated that a healthy 65 year old couple might pay approximately $250,000 on healthcare. This quarter of a million dollar estimate excludes out-of-pocket expenses and long term care costs.
Will you work in retirement? My uncle worked part time until he was 80. My father in law, now age 100, worked full-time until age 80. Many of my Uber drivers are retirees, seeking extra cash. I’m certain some of my buddy’s from Home Depot are working part time in retirement. This makes a difference in your cash flow.
All of these factors have a tremendous impact on the amount of money you’ll need in retirement. That’s why it’s preferable to over-save and invest than the opposite.
How Much Money Will You Need in Retirement?
According to Zvi Bodie in Risk Less and Prosper, your goals, values, career path and preferences impact how much money you need. You need to estimate the price tag of your retirement vision. Retire abroad (in some locations) and you can live on $20,000 per year. Live in a motor home in your home country and you can keep retirement costs rock bottom as well.
Chicago Financial Planner, Roger Wohlner reminds us that financial independence means different things to different people. Like so many activities in life, personal finance choices are personal. It’s helpful that Fidelity is setting approximate benchmarks to quantify the retirement decision. But, review these numbers with caution and an eye for your personal goals and values.
In, “How Much Do I Need to Save for Retirement”, Fidelity went beyond their initial guidelines and created some handy tools to help you figure out how various changes in your retirement outlook will impact your future expenses and savings. Their Retirement Quick Check helps you calculate whether you’re saving enough for retirement. And the Income Strategy Evaluator guides you in creating a retirement income strategy.
Fidelity’s Retirement Savings Action Steps
Spend some time evaluating your retirement expectations. And don’t say, “I won’t retire.” Like it or not, everyone comes to a point in their life, either by choice or circumstance, when work is no longer possible.
Pull out a notebook or keyboard and calculate how much you think you will need in your 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and beyond. Ontrajectory is a great tool to help work out your retirement numbers.
Create a plan for your retirement. And don’t avoid the topic.
The earlier you begin saving for retirement, the easier it is go grow your wealth.
What do you think about the new retirement guidelines? Are you on track for retirement?
A version of this article was previously published (comments remain intact)