How Much You Need To Save To Retire


How Much Money Do I Need To Retire

How to retire at 45 with $35K per year in passive income

In days gone past, the three-legged stool for retirement meant counting on pensions, Social Security and savings. Those who depend on that stool nowadays will fall hard, because the pension leg is either gone or going away. The Federal Reserve reports that only 22% have pensions to rely on in retirement. Thats less than one-fourth of the population.

The maximum Social Security benefit in 2020 at full retirement age is $3,011. But, the average Social Security benefit in January of 2020 was just $1,503. Thats $18,036 per year. Its not hard to see that wont go far.

Weve devised and included a retirement calculator that gives you estimates of what you need, based on your honest assessments of where you are. Use it give yourself a realistic plan.

Set Your Retirement Goals

How much you need to save depends on how you want to spend your retirement. Think about:

  • your travel plans
  • your age when you retire
  • if you’ll work after you retire
  • if you’ll have children or grandchildren to support
  • where you want to live
  • whether youll have debt to pay, such as a mortgage or a loan

How Much Do You Need To Save For Retirement

How much do you need to save and invest for retirement? The secret is that the earlier you start, the less youll need to put in!

The earlier you start saving and investing for retirement, the less youll need to put into your retirement fund from your hard-earned savings. So, start planning for retirement right away, even if its just tucking a small amount of savings away.

Monthly savings of $100 invested for a compound annual growth rate of 10% grows to $19,125 in 10 years, $68,730 in 20 years, and $197,393 in 30 years. If you instead saved and invested $500 a month, the amounts would be $95,625 in a decade, $343,650 in 20 years, and $986,964 in three decades.

One of the best ways to invest for that kind of healthy long-term returns is through stock investing.

Lets get back to the question

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How Much Do You Need To Retire At 55 In Canada

Some people wish to retire earlier than 65 years of age and set their retirement goal age as 55.

If you are eyeing 55 as your retirement age you should use a calculator like this one to see how your income and finances can be organized to retire before 65. It might not be doable. But if it is, a calculator can show you exactly how much money you need to retire in Canada. You can also consult with a professional retirement planner to assist you with determining your numbers.

There are, however, a few good rules of thumb to consider when planning for your retirement savings goal.

Why Have You Set The Default Life Expectancy Of The Calculator To 95 Years


For starters, people are living longer. Even though the average life expectancy in Canada is 82 years, many people live past this. It’s better to have more money tucked away for retirement than to run out of savings. Extra savings can always be passed down to your beneficiaries. You can change the default life expectancy if you think you’ll live a longer or shorter life.

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Select Your Retirement Investments

Retirement accounts provide access to a range of investments, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Determining the right mix of investments depends on how long you have until you need the money and how comfortable you are with risk.

  • Generally, the idea is to invest aggressively when youre young, and then slowly dial back to a more conservative mix of investments as you approach retirement age. Thats because early on you have a lot of time for your money to weather market fluctuations a few bad years wont ruin you, and your nest egg should benefit greatly from the stock markets history of long-term growth. Investing for retirement evolves alongside you as you change jobs, add to your family tree, endure stock market ups and downs and get closer to your retirement due date.

  • Your investments don’t necessarily require constant babysitting. If you want to manage your retirement savings on your own, you can do it with just a handful of low-cost mutual funds. Those who prefer professional guidance can hire a financial advisor.

Estimate How Much Super You’ll Have

You probably know how much super you have now, but do you know how much you’ll have when you retire?

Use the Moneysmart retirement planner to estimate:

  • how much money you’ll have to spend each year once you retire
  • how fees, investment options and contributions will affect your retirement income

You can also use the planner to test out different scenarios and work out how to grow your super.

Estimate how much super you’ll have when you retire.

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How Much Do You Need To Retire

No matter how young you are, its important to plan for your future – youll be glad that you did.

Its hard to know exactly how much youll need in later life because everyone has different circumstances and different expectations.

But by planning how much youll need, and working out how best to build up your pension pot, you’ll be in a great position to live your best life in later life.

How Does Your Retirement Savings Compare By Age

How Much Do I Need to Retire? Retirement Planning 101

The easiest rule in retirement savings: Save as much as you can as young as you can.

The easiest reality to understand: Most of America is far behind.

A Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies shows that the median retirement savings for people in their 50s is $117,000. For people in their 60s, its $172,000.

How much should you have saved as you age? Several of the leading financial firms have made projections. Heres a look at an average of all their estimates:

Retirement Savings By Age

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The Benchmarks For Those Closer To Retirement

The range gets wider as you get older, so we also provide more detailed estimates for people approaching retirement. This helps someone find a realistic target based on income and marital status, which affect Social Security benefits.

A Closer Look at Savings Benchmarks Later in Your Career

Savings Benchmarks Later in Your Career

11x 14x

Assumptions: See Savings Benchmarks by AgeAs a Multiple of Income above. Dual income means that one spouse generates 75% of the income that the other spouse earns.

A More Aggressive Formula

Another, more aggressive formula holds that you should save 25% of your gross salary each year, starting in your 20s. The 25% savings figure may sound daunting. But don’t forget that it includes not only 401 holdings and matching contributions from your employer, but also other types of retirement savings.

If you follow this formula, it should allow you to accumulate your full annual salary by age 30. Continuing at the same average savings rate should yield the following:

  • Age 35two times annual salary
  • Age 40three times annual salary
  • Age 45four times annual salary
  • Age 50five times annual salary
  • Age 55six times annual salary
  • Age 60seven times annual salary
  • Age 65eight times annual salary

Whether or not you try to follow the 15% or the 25% savings guideline, chances are your actual ability to save will be affected by life events such as the job loss many experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Example: How Much You Need To Save Each Month If You Start To Save For Retirement Early

Suppose you plan to retire in 20 years. You want to save $75,000 for your retirement. You’re earning an annual interest rate of 5% compounded on your savings.

Compare how much you’d have to save each month if you start to save now or in 10 years. When you have 20 years to save instead of 10 years, you have to put $14,160 less into the bank to reach your goal. This is because you earn more money in interest the longer you save. In this example, you earn $14,020 more in interest when you have 20 years to save than when you have 10 years to save.

Table 1: Compare how much you’d have to save each month if you start to save now or 10 years

Years you have to save How much you need to save per month Amount saved

Note: the numbers are calculated using the Ontario Securities Commissions Compound Interest Calculator.

How You Want To Live In Retirement

How much do you need to have saved for retirement? By ...

In other words, do you expect your expenses to go down when you retire? We call that a below average lifestyle. Or will you spend as much as you do now? That’s average. If you expect your expenses will be more than they are now, that’s above average.

Let’s look at some hypothetical investors who are planning to retire at 67. Joe is planning to downsize and live frugally in retirement, so he expects his expenses to be lower. His savings factor might be closer to 8x than 10x. Elizabeth is planning to retire at age 67 and her goal is to maintain her lifestyle in retirement, so her savings factor is 10x. Sean sees retirement as an opportunity to travel extensively, so it may make sense for him to save more and plan for a higher level of retirement spending. His savings factor is 12x at age 67.

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Alternative Investments For Couples

If you and your spouse are into alternative investments, there are ways both parties can benefit and diversify at the same time.

Diversification can be a fun way to compromise with your partner. When you have a handle on passive retirement investing through robo-advisors, adding non-traditional investments to your portfolio can be a fun win-win that introduces a little bit of calculated risk into the equation. That way, nobody feels left out and you address long-term security while opening up to the possibility of shorter-term gains.

First, set aside some “fun money” that isn’t crucial to your financial goals. Some couples spend $200 per month on a fancy dinner, but maybe the two of you spend $200 investing in crypto through a platform like Gemini. Try this together for a year to see how it adds to both your portfolio and your relationship. And for a more stable strategy, you could set aside another part of your fun money to invest in farmland.


A Look At The Benchmarks

Considering all this, here are some savings benchmarks for people in the following age groups:

Savings Benchmarks by AgeAs a Multiple of Income

Key Assumptions: Household income grows at 5% until age 45 and 3% thereafter. Investment returns before retirement are 7% before taxes, and savings grow tax-deferred. The person retires at age 65 and begins withdrawing 4% of assets . Savings benchmark ranges are based on individuals or couples with current household income approximately between $75,000 and $250,000.

Investor’s Age and Savings Benchmarks

Investor’s Age
6x to 11x salary saved today
65 7.5x to 14x salary saved today

We assume the household starts saving 6% at age 25 and increases the savings rate by 1% annually until reaching the necessary savings rate. Benchmark ranges reflect the higher amounts calculated using federal tax rates as of January 1, 2020, or the tax rates as scheduled to revert to pre-2018 levels after 2025. Inflation adjustments to brackets effective in 2021 do not significantly affect the analysis and, therefore, are not reflected. Approximate midpoints for age 35 and older are rounded up to a whole number within the range. Target multiples at retirement reflect estimated spending needs in retirement Social Security benefits state taxes and federal taxes.

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Impact Of Inflation On Pensions And Savings

The amount you get from public pensions, like the Old Age Security pension and Canada Pension Plan, is protected against inflation. This means as the cost of living goes up, the value of your benefit goes up as well.

Not all employer pensions are protected against inflation. Ask your pension administrator or employer whether your pension is protected against inflation.

Personal savings and investments, such as mutual funds or guaranteed investment certificates , are usually not directly protected against inflation. Your savings need to grow by at least the rate of inflation. If not, the amount of things your savings can buy in the future will be less than what they can buy now.

For example, something bought for $100 in 2002 would cost $129.92 in 2016. If your income isn’t protected against inflation, you may have a hard time maintaining your lifestyle in retirement as the cost of goods and services increases.

Retirement Rule Of Thumb: 4% Rule

How Much Do You Really Need to Save for Retirement?

There are different ways to determine how much money you need to save to get the retirement income you want. One easy-to-use formula is to divide your desired annual retirement income by 4%, which is known as the 4% rule.

To generate the $80,000 cited above, for example, you would need a nest egg at retirement of about $2 million . This strategy assumes a 5% return on investments , no additional retirement income , and a lifestyle similar to the one you would be living at the time you retire.

Keep in mind that your life expectancy plays an important role in determining if the 4% rule rate will be sustainable. In general, the 4% rule assumes that you will live for about another 30 years in retirement. Retirees who live longer need their portfolios to last longer, and medical costs and other expenses can increase as you age.

The 4% rule does not work unless you stick to it year in and year out. Straying one year to splurge on a big purchase can have major consequences because this reduces the principal, which directly impacts the compound interest that a retiree depends on to sustain their income.

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How To Start Saving

To reach the above suggestions, Fidelity recommends that you save 15% of your income each year and that, over your lifetime, you invest more than 50% of your savings in stocks to get a higher return on your money.

If this seems like a lofty goal for your finances, you’re not alone.

According to a 2020 TD Ameritrade report, which surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults ages 40 to 79 with at least $25,000 in investable assets, nearly two-thirds of 40-somethings have less than $100,000 in retirement savings and 28% of those in their sixties have less than $50,000. Looking at a younger demographic, a 2019 TD Ameritrade survey found that 66% of millennials said they need to catch up on their retirement savings.

But anyone, no matter their age or amount in savings, can get started with the same principles. Thanks to compound interest, which means you earn interest on interest, it’s beneficial to start saving early even if it’s a small, regular contribution and let it build over years and decades.

It’s also important to balance short-term savings goals. Experts typically recommend having at least three to six months of living expenses in an emergency fund in case of job loss or an unexpected cost. Savings accounts provide a place to save your cash so that it’s easily accessible. An online high-yield savings account can help grow your money faster than a normal savings account would.

How Our Retirement Calculators Can Help

Meet Mac. Hes 51, married and planning to retire at age 65.

To work out how much Mac might need in retirement, he tries our retirement needs calculator. Mac is hoping for a comfortable standard of living in retirement, and our calculator estimates this will cost him $1,154.49 a week or $60,033 a year. Hes also planning on buying a new car and doing some travelling once retired, and thinks hell need $40,000 for these one-off expenses. Based on a life expectancy of 81 years, our retirement needs calculator estimates hell need a total of $993,473 to fund his retirement.

So how much might he have in retirement, and how long is his money likely to last, based on his current and expected financial situation?

Mac uses AMPs retirement simulator to find out. Mac currently has $172,000 in superannuation invested in a balanced investment option, an annual pre-tax salary of $82,000, shares worth $20,000, and the couple owns their family home. Based on this information, our retirement simulator calculates hell retire with savings of $294,944. Based on his expected expenditure in retirement outlined above, our retirement simulator estimates his money will only last until age 71, leaving him with a funding shortfall of 10 years in retirement.

While this news may seem scary, its not an uncommon situation. Luckily, finding out about the possible shortfall now means there may still be ways to boost his savings before retirement.

What do you do if you wont have enough to retire?

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Years Multiplied By Expenses Rule

You will need to estimate the number of years you might spend in retirement. And then multiply these years with your annual expenses to find out the amount you need. The older you are when you retire, the fewer years you will have for retirement:

For example, if Lucy retires at 70 and goes on to live until 85. While her annual expenses are $85,000 so this means she will need $85,000 for 15 years which will amount to $1.275 million for her retirement spending.

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