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Five Key Retirement Numbers to Consider

August 09, 2017

In the seemingly complex world of retirement, there are important numbers you should be aware of that could make or break your overall retirement savings. A recent USA Today article highlights ten numbers that could make or break your retirement1. Here we outline our top five: 

#1 – 41%. This is a surprising statistic that reveals the percentage of workers (or four in 10) who say they (or their spouse) have tried to calculate how much money they should have saved to live comfortably in retirement, according to a March 2017 Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Retirement Confidence Survey2.  That’s a relatively low number given a good rule of thumb is to plan to have 10 times or more of your final salary in savings for retirement. 

#2 – 50. This represents the age at which you can make catch-up contributions to your retirement savings. The benefit of blowing out the candles on your 50th birthday is the ability to increase the amount you save in retirement accounts to the tune of $6,000 additional dollars a year into a 401(k) or an extra $1,000 into an IRA. 

#3 – 8%. It may seem like a small number but it could mean big savings for older workers who delay taking Social Security benefits beyond their full retirement age (around 66). Those who delay taking their benefits could increase their overall earnings by an additional eight percent each year until the full retirement age of 67.

#4 – $1,360. This number reflects the average Social Security benefit of approximately 41 million retired workers. It is important to understand that Social Security benefits vary by amount of time worked and the age when you enroll. 

#5 – 4%. On average, this is the recommended maximum percentage of assets you should plan to withdraw the first year of retirement. This is a general rule of thumb to ensure the nest egg you’ve worked hard to prepare will last for at least 30 years into the future. For example, if you’ve saved $1 million, you would plan to withdraw no more than $40,000 (or four percent) that first year. Then to help keep pace with inflation, you could increase that initial dollar amount by the inflation rate each year.

Retirement preparedness varies by age and personal financial situation. If you have questions or concerns about your retirement plan, please give the office a call.