Financial Fundamentals Blog

Am I Saving Enough For Retirement?

A group of seniors celebrating retirement at a dinner table


We all have retirement dreams—catching up on the to-be-read list, traveling with family, or doing projects around the house. No matter what your retirement dreams are, one thing is certain: You need to make sure you’re saving enough now so you don’t have to worry about money later. But the big question is: Are you doing enough saving for retirement?


Financial Challenges of Saving for Retirement

According to a 2022 study by Goldman Sachs, workers in the U.S. across generations are experiencing challenges saving for retirement. Approximately 53 percent of working members of the Baby Boomer generation are behind on their retirement savings, while 51 percent of Generation X, 34 percent of Millennials, and 27 percent of Generation Z are behind on their retirement savings.


What factors are making saving for retirement difficult?


Rise in Inflation

Inflation has exploded in recent years, making goods and services so much more expensive. This rise in costs affects how other funds are spent and how much can be spared to put into a retirement account. And inflation isn’t just affecting how much can be put away today—it’s also going to have an impact on future retirees because their fixed income may not be enough to support rising costs of living.


Large Amounts of Debt

Anyone can end up in debt and have trouble paying bills. However, the latest research shows younger people are falling into debt faster. The average amount of debt for people in the 18–29 age group is $12,871, the 30–39 age group holds an average of $26,532, and the 40–49 age group holds an average of $27,838.


This much debt can be hard to manage, especially if an individual is paying the minimum balance on multiple accounts. The problem with this tactic is that it takes a lot longer to pay off the debt, and the accounts are going to continue to collect interest. Having a large amount of debt can feel overwhelming and the priority may be paying off the debt over saving for retirement.


Strategies for Meeting Your Retirement Savings Goals

Ready to ramp up your retirement contributions? Keep reading for some easy strategies to meet your savings goals.


Incorporate Saving into Your Monthly Budget

The easiest and most successful way of saving for retirement is to build it into your monthly budget like any other bill. If you have a retirement plan through your employer, you may have contributions deducted directly from your paycheck to remove the temptation to spend this money before you’ve saved it.


If you have a separate savings account and your company has direct deposit, you may be able to put a portion of your paycheck directly into your savings account. To maximize the amount you’re saving, seek out a savings account that enables you to earn interest on what you contribute.


Make it Automated

A simple way to build up your retirement savings is to automate it so you don’t have to think about it. Automatic transfers can help enforce a savings schedule as well as help you build a savings habit. The automated approach is ideal for those who have a habit of spending money in their checking account as soon as the money is deposited.


Participate in Your Employer’s Retirement Plan

One of the most beneficial ways of saving for retirement involves taking advantage of your employer’s 401(k) plan and ensuring you’re getting the maximum contribution benefit. For example, if your employer will match your contributions up to 3 percent, make sure you’re getting this full match by contributing at least 3 percent of your paycheck to your 401(k).


Consider Your Financial Needs

Remember all of your retirement dreams? This is where you’ll want to create a list of them and their associated financial cost.


In addition to that, consider how much you’ll need for necessities such as food, transportation, and housing—and remember to factor inflation into your estimates. These figures will help you understand what your financial needs are going to be after retirement. A good estimate is that you’ll need between 70-90 percent of your pre-retirement income to continue your current standard of living when you retire.


Regularly Increase Your Retirement Savings

To reach your retirement goals, it’s recommended to regularly increase the amount you’re setting aside. First, increase your retirement plan contributions by 1 percent each year. Then, once you pay off debts such as credit cards, student loans, or your vehicle, set aside the amount you were paying for this debt into a retirement savings account.


Get on Track for Retirement

Making sure you’re financially prepared for retirement is important, and 7 17 Credit Union has several resources to help. See if you’re on the right track for retirement by exploring our retirement pension planner today.



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