Editor's Note: APYs listed in this article are up-to-date as of the time of publication. They may fluctuate (up or down) as the Fed rate changes. CNBC will update as changes are made public.
While it's never too early to start setting aside money for the future, the last 10 or so years before you retire are certainly crucial to reaching any sort of savings goals.
To retire by age 67, experts from retirement-plan provider Fidelity Investments say you should have eight times your income saved by the time you turn 60.
If you are nearing 60 (or already reached it) and no where close to that number, you're not the only one behind. A 2020 TD Ameritrade report, which surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults ages 40 to 79 with at least $25,000 in investable assets, found that 28% of those in their sixties have less than $50,000 in retirement savings.
Though Fidelity's guideline takes into account your retirement contributions and your investments, in addition to any cash savings, it certainly can still seem a lofty goal.
Whether or not you are close to having 8 times your salary set aside, there are a few financial things you can work on checking off your to-do list that will open up room to save more as you prep to step away from the workforce.
In addition to cutting expenses by following a budget, living within your means and perhaps downsizing to a smaller home, it's important to pay down your high-interest debt (like on credit cards).
If you have any outstanding credit card balances, pay them off now so it's not a burden chipping away into your retirement fund later on. If you don't pay off your balances in full, credit card debt can stick around for years and become expensive with late fees. What's worse, it can eventually go to a collection agency if gone unpaid.
Because most credit cards charge interest daily whenever you carry a balance, ignoring these bills can really cause your debt to balloon over time.
There's also an upside to freeing yourself from credit card debt: you boost your credit score in the meantime. As you pay down your balances, you free up more of your available credit and lower your credit utilization rate. The lower your utilization, the better your credit score. The better your credit score in retirement, the easier it is to refinance your mortgage or get a new home if you plan to downsize.
Keep an eye on your credit while you pay down your balances by signing up for a credit monitoring service. For the most accurate credit score reading used in over 90% of lending decisions, consider FICO® Advanced.
Depending on how extensive of a plan you want, there are three options including Basic, Advanced and Premier. All plans offer access to 28 versions of your FICO Score, including scores for credit cards, mortgages and auto loans. Plus, you'll receive $1 million identity theft insurance and 24/7 access to U.S.-based identity theft experts who can help restore your identity if your information is compromised.
$19.95 to $39.95 per month
Experian for Basic plan or Experian, Equifax and TransUnion for Advanced and Premier plans
Yes, for Advanced and Premier plans
Yes, up to $1 million
So, you might not have 8 times your income saved by the time you turn 60, but make sure you have a nest egg of some sort to fall back on. A safety net of savings can help you when you are no longer working but may need to cover medical bills or any unexpected expenses.
Financial experts generally suggest setting aside three to six months' worth of your living expenses when building an emergency fund. While you likely already have a savings account in your older years, it's a smart idea to make sure you are earning the highest rate you can without paying anything for it.
The Varo Savings Account does just that and encourages users to save more. Through its uniquely tiered program, account holders can earn up to 2.80% APY if they meet certain monthly requirements: Make a minimum of five purchases using their Varo Visa® Debit Card, have direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more each month and keep a savings account balance no higher than $10,000 (there is no minimum balance) all in the same month.
0.81% (with option to earn up to 2.80% if meet requirements)
Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *The 6/statement cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D
None up to $50; anything greater, Varo would decline the transaction
Yes, if have a Varo checking account
As you near retirement, your latter years are just as important as when you started savings years ago. Stay on track by making sure you are paying off your debt, watching your credit score and ensuring you have a healthy emergency fund.
While having eight times your income saved by your 60th birthday is good advice, the takeaway is that you at least have something stocked away.