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How Much Should You Save? Meet Your Retirement Goals with These Tips

How Much Should You Save? Meet Your Retirement Goals with These Tips

Kim Lankford

A recent study by T. Rowe Price reveals most people need to set aside at least 15 percent of their pretax salary for their investments to replace 50 percent or more of their current salary in retirement. This may be enough if you’re getting an extra 20 percent or more of your preretirement income in Social Security and pension payouts. But you’ll need to fill more of the gap yourself if you don’t expect to receive a pension, live in an expensive area or will still have a mortgage or other housing payment after retirement.

How to Afford to Save

The reality is that it isn’t always easy to set aside money for retirement when you’re nowhere near your peak income and just trying to pay your regular bills. The good news: You have plenty of help. The IRS and most employers kick in some money, so you can set aside a substantial amount of money without taking much of a hit in your paycheck.

For example, if your employer matches 50 cents on the dollar for up to 6 percent of your salary and you earn $40,000, you’d get the maximum match if you contribute $2,400 in a 401k. In that case, you’d get $1,200 from your employer, bringing your total contribution up to $3,600.

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