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Setting Attainable Goals When Planning for Retirement

by Caldwell Trust

Attaining financial independence takes planning and a lot of forethought when setting attainable goals so that by the time it's a few years to your retirement, you have your ducks in a row and ready to take the vacation world by storm. Setting retirement goals begins with determining how much you should start saving now to make retiring early possible.

How Much to Save

With the average retirement age today of 63, your everyday American is not hitting the recommended superannuation savings benchmark. By the time you are 65 years old, you want to have 8-times your annual salary in your savings account. Simply put, you should apply the 50/30/20 rule which states that 50% of your salary should go toward paying monthly utilities, 30% variable costs and 20% is what you should save each month.

This should also include setting up a debt repayment plan and starting to pay off what you owe so that you have a solid financial footing come retirement.

Determine Your Pre-Retirement Needs

The amount is not set in stone, and there certainly isn't a one-size-fits-all number. What you need is solely dependent on the lifestyle you envision when you retire. Again, if you are debt-free and your children are financially healthy, your goal should be to retire comfortably with a cash flow of 70-80% of your peak pre-retirement income.

Contribute Toward Your 401K

If you have an Employer-Sponsored Pension Plan, take full advantage of the compounding interests and if possible, ask for an individual benefit statement so that you can see what it's worth. You may be leaving money on the table if you are not maximizing your 401k because you can save up to 19, 500 per year for your retirement, especially if your employer matches your contribution. The numbers are more forward-looking today and assuming you started saving $8,000 at age 22, including compounding, you could turn $827,000 to $6.6M dollar.

Health Insurance

It's not uncommon for pensioners to spend an average of $4,300 or more on out-of-pocket healthcare costs in their golden years. Health insurance plays an integral part in preparing for retirement and because long-term care for retirees is far from free, you must consider your options now. When you turn 65 years old you are eligible for different types of Medicare coverage available depending on your specific healthcare needs.

Work With a Financial Advisor

Getting an early start to save for your golden years means that you can start leveraging compounding interests early. However, the jargon of it all can seem too overwhelming to comprehend on your own, and a certified financial professional can help you navigate the course of saving and planning for the future. A retirement advisor can help devise an attainable debt-eliminating strategy that will leave you free to maximize your tax-advantaged accounts and more.


So, points to remember;

  • Use a certified retirement advisor to help you determine how much you should save for retirement when in setting retirement goals
  • Aim to start saving between 70 and 80% of your annual pre-retirement revenue 
  • You become eligible for Medicare at the median age of 66, which is also the benchmark for Social Security retirement age, so take advantage of that.
  • Leverage the tax-advantaged 401k plan and invest in stocks, bonds or mutual funds within the account; your money will continue growing tax-free until you make retirement withdrawals.
  • Depending on your retirement age, health and life expectancy, you will need approximately $295,000 after tax in health care costs in retirement. So, consider all the healthcare premiums available to know how much to pay monthly.


Contact us today for more tips on setting retirement goals and how much you should save for retirement.

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