Are you saving enough for retirement?

4 minute read

Determining whether you are saving enough money for retirement involves assessing various factors and considering your individual circumstances.

Here are some key steps to help you evaluate your retirement savings:

Set retirement goals

Start by envisioning your ideal retirement lifestyle. Consider factors such as where you want to live, the activities you want to pursue and your desired standard of living. This will provide a target for your retirement savings.

Estimate retirement expenses

Calculate your expected expenses in retirement, including housing, health care, daily living costs, travel and any other significant expenses. It's essential to be realistic and account for inflation and potential healthcare costs.

Consider income sources

Identify potential sources of income during retirement, such as Social Security, pensions, rental income or part-time work. Understanding your expected income can help determine the gap that needs to be filled through savings.

Determine your target savings amount

Based on your retirement goals and estimated expenses, calculate the total amount you’ll need to accumulate by the time you retire. This can be done using retirement calculators or by consulting with a financial professional.

Assess your current savings

Evaluate your current retirement savings balance and investment growth. Compare it to your target savings amount to gauge whether you're on track. Remember to include all retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s, IRAs and any other investments.

Evaluate savings rate and contributions

Assess the percentage of your income that you’re currently saving for retirement. As a general guideline, many financial experts often recommend saving 10-15% of your pre-tax income for retirement. If you’re not meeting this threshold, consider increasing your contributions to bridge the gap.

Monitor and adjust

Regularly review your retirement savings progress and make adjustments as needed. Factors such as changes in income, expenses, or investment returns may require you to reassess your savings strategy.

Consider getting advice from a financial professional

Meeting with a financial professional or retirement planning professional can be beneficial. They can evaluate your unique circumstances, help you determine how much you’ll need for retirement, and suggest suitable savings strategies tailored to your situation. Their experience and knowledge can provide valuable insights and guidance.

Retirement planning is a dynamic process, and it’s important to review and update your retirement savings strategy periodically. Take into account changes in your life circumstances and financial goals.

How can I get started saving for retirement if I haven’t already?

It’s never too late to start putting money away for your retirement. Here are some steps to help you get started on your retirement savings journey:

Think about what you want your retirement to look like

Consider when you want to retire, where you want to live, the things you want to do, and how comfortable you want to be. Setting clear goals will inspire you to save for retirement.

Assess your current financial situation

Take stock of your current income, expenses and debts. Understand how much money you have available to allocate toward retirement savings.

Consider creating a budget to better manage your finances and identify areas where you can cut expenses and redirect funds toward retirement savings.

Establish an emergency fund

Before focusing on retirement savings, it’s important to build an emergency fund. Aim to save three to six months' worth of living expenses in a readily accessible savings account. This fund will provide a safety net and prevent you from tapping into your retirement savings in case of unexpected expenses or emergencies.

Research retirement account options

Familiarize yourself with different retirement account options available to you, such as employer-sponsored plans like 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), or self-employed retirement plans. Understand the contribution limits, tax advantages and withdrawal rules associated with each account type.

Take advantage of employer-sponsored plans

If your employer offers a workplace retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), enroll in the program and contribute at least enough to take full advantage of any employer matching contributions. Employer matches are essentially free money that can significantly boost your retirement savings.

Start with automatic contributions

Set up automatic contributions to your retirement account(s). This ensures consistent savings without requiring regular manual efforts. Arrange for automatic deductions from your paycheck or set up automatic transfers from your bank account. Start with a manageable contribution amount and gradually increase it over time as your financial situation improves.

Educate yourself on investment options

Learn about investment strategies and asset allocation to make informed decisions about how to invest your retirement savings. Consider seeking advice from a financial professional if you’re unsure about investment options or risk tolerance.

Review and adjust annually (if not more often)

Regularly monitor your retirement savings progress and adjust your contributions and investment strategy as needed. Revisit your goals, reassess your financial situation, and make necessary changes to stay on track.

Remember, the key is to start as soon as possible and be consistent with your savings efforts. Even small contributions can grow significantly over time due to the power of compounding. The sooner you begin, the more time your money has to grow and work for you.

This article was written by Retirement Daily Guest Contributor from The Street Retirement and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to

This material is provided for general and educational purposes only; it is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk. Please consult an independent legal or financial advisor for specific advice about your individual situation.