Smart Money

How much have you saved for retirement?

By: Marc Cuniberti
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If you’re like the majority of Americans, probably not enough to retire comfortably.

In actuality the figures of how much people have squirreled away for their golden years is disturbing.

In order to better grasp the problem at hand facing many Americans, the first question to be asked is how much does one need to have in order to retire in the lifestyle one is accustomed to?

Right from the get go we become astutely aware of how much of a problem we have as a nation of greying individuals.

From a survey by an eye popping 61 percent of those asked didn’t know how much money one needed to save for retirement.

Ouch. That’s a big problem.

Obviously not having a clue of how much money you will need erects a huge barrier to actually preparing for the so-called golden years. It’s hard to prepare when you don’t know how much gold you’ll need!

In the same survey, 8 percent of those queries responded they never plan to retire. I’m not exactly sure what that means but assuming not everyone enjoys their job enough to do it until they kick the bucket, it’s a foregone conclusion that some of these folks already know they don’t and won’t have enough retirement money when their walking canes arrive in the mail.

The amount one needs to relax into their rocking chairs for the duration obviously varies from person to person but from a Fidelity statistical survey comes more dire news: People ages 40-49 have saved an average of $91,000, ages 50-59 $152,000 and ages 60-69 their savings average $167,700.

Doing some simple math and assuming you live to 80, and stop working at 69, using the $167,700 figure, you’ll get about $1,200 a month. Better hope the portfolio sees some growth. Retire earlier or not having saved as much only paints less desirable picture.

Taking into consideration that nearly half of Americans have no savings at all from a study by the Economic Policy Institute and the picture turns into more of a depressing illustration of just how badly things will be for many.

Social Security will of course help but will leave much to be desired when it comes to fully funding your days on the porch swing. Add in some medical costs which is likely a forgone conclusion and you kind of get the overall impression many people are going to have to rely on public assistance and the kind hearts of their friends, neighbors and relatives to survive.

Social Security was only designed as a supplement but like many concepts in life, what meant and what was morphed by the minds of some are two entirely different things.

The fact remains: If you want to have a better afterlife (as in post working) you better get your rear end in gear and give some serious grey matter to the issue, then regularly add some of the green stuff to a retirement account somewhere.

Anything you save will be better than nothing and each penny of it will go to helping you and you alone into a better life after you stop working.

After all, having some plan is better than having no plan at all. And if your plan revolves solely around what others have planned for you, odds are you will be sorely disappointed.

Marc Cuniberti is an investment advisor representative through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisor. He can be contacted at SMC Wealth Management, 164 Maple St #1, Auburn, CA 95603 or 530-559-1214. California Insurance License No. OL34249.