The earlier you start to save for retirement, the more time your money will have to accumulate compound interest, which can significantly boost your savings.
Start by saving what you can early in your career, with the ultimate goal of putting away 15% of your salary. That 15% will put you on track to have the equivalent of your salary saved by 30, which is the milestone retirement-plan provider Fidelity recommends aiming for in order to retire comfortably.
And if your employer offers a 401(k) match, try to contribute enough to qualify for the full amount, which is essentially free money.
That means, if you earn $50,000 a year, you should aim to have $50,000 in retirement savings by the time you are 30. If your annual salary is $100,000 a year, you should aim to have $100,000 saved.
But how much do people in their 20s actually have in their 401(k)s? The average 401(k) balance for Americans between the ages of 20 and 29 was $15,000 as of the fourth quarter of 2020, according to data from Fidelity's retirement platform. The average employee contribution rate for people in this age group was 7.4%.
How much money you should put away for retirement depends on the kind of lifestyle you plan on having for you and your family.
However, experts at Fidelity recommend that you save 15% of your salary over the course of your career in order to be prepared for retirement by the age of 67.
This is how much experts at Fidelity recommend you have saved for retirement at every age:
- By 30, you should have the equivalent of your salary saved
- By 40, you should have three times your salary saved
- By 50, you should have six times your salary saved
- By 60, you should have eight times your salary saved
- By 67, you should have 10 times your salary saved