How Much Do I Need to Retire? Buy Side from WSJ

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more – straight to your e-mail. Two people living in different parts of the U.S. will have different retirement income needs, in some cases vastly so.

Experts typically recommend having at least three to six months of living expenses in an emergency fund in case of job loss or an unexpected cost. Savings accounts provide a place to save your cash so that it’s easily accessible. An online high-yield savings account can help grow your money faster than a normal savings account would.

Don’t be too concerned with the trading tools and services they provide, because trading is not wise when you are saving and have limited funds. If you earn money, you pay Social Security taxes, but the funds used to pay Social Security benefits are expected to become depleted. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the 2022 annual report containing financial projections shows that the Social Security fund will be able to pay the full scheduled benefits until 2034. After that point, the trust fund will be depleted and only 77% of the scheduled benefits will be able to be paid with continuing tax income. Thinking ahead to what your life might look like in retirement might encourage you to start taking small steps that can have a big impact over time. The 4% rule is a popular estimate for how much money you’ll need to save to last 30 years in retirement.

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People on average are living longer and are able to remain healthy and active well into their sunset years. Keep your nest egg safe from loss by protecting them with proper insurance, such as life insurance and other products. We’re here to help you better understand your total income and expenses in retirement. No matter when you retire, be sure to sign up for Medicare three months before you reach age 65.

Roth 401(k) vs. 401(k): Which One Is Better?

That means that keeping up with the Joneses in this respect just isn’t enough. Even above-average savings and a healthy Social Security benefit might not be enough to let you maintain your lifestyle in retirement. People with higher incomes are more likely to have retirement savings and their average retirement savings are higher, too. Meanwhile people with the lowest incomes have no savings and plenty of debt. That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but it’s one of the most notable features of the retirement landscape. For many Americans, Social Security benefits are the only source of income during their retirement.

Open an IRA

When opening an IRA, you have the option to choose between a so-called traditional and a Roth option. The difference boils down to how you’re taxed and eligibility.

Understand Your Time Horizon

“Many people need to have income streams (or savings and investments) cover 80%, 90%, or even 100% of their pre-retirement budget,” Ludwick says. It all depends on your specific expenses now and in retirement. Read more about 403b vs 401k here. The Roth versions of retirement plans are those that confer tax advantages in retirement. Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s are generally the most popular, but you can also consider a Roth 403(b) plan, Roth 457 plan, or a Roth solo 401(k). Investing in an HSA also enables you to withdraw money, in retirement or at any age, for qualifying medical expenses without paying income tax on the withdrawal. If putting aside 15% of your paycheck seems daunting, know that you don’t need to achieve that right away.

Approximate midpoints for age 35 and older are rounded up to a whole number within the range. One useful way to save for these costs is through a health savings account (HSA). HSAs work similarly to retirement accounts, but the money can be withdrawn tax-free at any time to pay for qualified medical expenses. IRAs and 401(k) and 403(b) accounts are considered retirement savings accounts. You’ll most likely need to use withdrawals from these accounts during retirement. Still, by using them to pay for necessary expenses, you could run the risk of eroding your savings faster than you anticipated.

You might have Social Security income to supplement the money you’ve saved. Alternatively, you might find that you prefer to keep working on a part-time basis and that you have some income coming in from paid work. Using a retirement savings calculator lets you see if you’re on track and where you can make adjustments to help you reach your financial goals. One of the simplest and most effective ways to save for retirement is through your workplace retirement plan. Many financial professionals recommend saving 10% to 15% of your total income. Yet how much you should save largely depends on your retirement goals, age, and income.

Psychologists suggest the power uncertainty has over us is of our own making. We can limit its negative impact by accepting and embracing it rather than worrying about it. Understand that no plan can completely eliminate uncertainty; it’s an inherent part of life. Acknowledge that while you can’t control every aspect of your future, you’re not rendered powerless.

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