How much should you be saving for your retirement? That is the $64,000 question. What’s the magic number? 3%? 5%? 10%? More?
Saving for your retirement: The magic number
There’s no magic number. No one can give it to us because no one wants to be legally responsible when the number turns out to be too low. You can consult a financial adviser and get personalized recommendations. If you can’t or don’t want to do that, here’s our attempt to advise you how much should you be saving.
Your goal will depend on your lifestyle. Two big factors weigh heavily on your saving needs: how many years you’re going to spend in retirement and how much you will need to withdraw each year. Your retirement date is therefore important. Plan to spend at least 30 years in retirement or longer if you retire early.
Rule of thumb
One rule of thumb is that you will need 70% of your pre-retirement salary to live comfortably. That might be okay if you have paid off your mortgage and are in excellent health.
Save at least 10% of your income
Will your pension and Social Security be enough? That is pretty individual. Many financial planners recommend you save at least 10% of your income for retirement. That means setting aside 10% of your paycheck. If you are self-employed, you can set up a private pension fund. Like other types of money purchase plan, it attracts tax relief up to the annual limits. For the 2019/2020 tax year, that’s $40,000, or your total earnings if that’s less.
Covering the shortfall
Another way of estimating your retirement costs is to take a realistic look at your current expenses, and then work out how they will change. As a general rule, you may need saving at least $15 to $20 to cover each dollar of the shortfall between your income and your expenses. So for example if your projected retirement expenses exceed Social Security and pensions by $20,000 a year, you might need $300,000 to $400,000 to bridge the gap.
Plan for change
Changes in the economic climate, inflation, achievable returns, and your personal situation may impact your plan. There will be times when you’re between jobs or you need money for an emergency. For those cases, you can put your money in an individual retirement account (IRA). That way, you can take your contributions out without penalty.
Achieving the goal
Sometimes you will be able to save more, and sometimes less. What’s important is to get as close to your savings goal as possible and check your progress at each benchmark to make sure you are staying on track.
Live cheap; live well
Mexico. Riviera Maya. Do the math. If it’s cheaper to relocate to a tropical paradise, why survive another winter?
Do it now
If you find yourself running short on time – say, you’re in your 40s or even your 50s, and you haven’t gotten started yet – there are still a few things you can do. The key thing is to do them now.
Remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate … we make it happen!