The specifics of your financial goals may not resemble anyone else’s; maybe you want to trek the globe after you retire while your neighbor plans to dive into full-time volunteer work. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, some generally shared steps can help get you on track for whatever path you see for your future.
Here’s a breakdown of some key financial priorities you may consider at each age to help you check off retirement goals as you go:
In your 20s
- Establish a consistent income
- Building (and living within) a budget
- Eliminating debt from credit cards or loans
- Enrolling in your own health insurance
- Opening savings accounts for big expenses and investment accounts for retirement
- Not saving early enough for retirement is Americans’ No. 1 financial regret.
Retirement savings goal before turning 30: Some experts recommend having saved your annual salary or saving 15% of your pay.
In your 30s Focus on:
- Filling your emergency fund with 3–6 months’ salary
- Maxing the match on employer-sponsored retirement plans
- Eliminating additional non-mortgage debt
- Putting 20% down on a home (suggested but not required)
- Creating a will and getting life insurance
- Starting kids’ education savings funds
Retirement savings goal before turning 40: Some experts recommend having saved 2 to 3 times your annual salary.
In your 40s Focus on:
- Maximizing personal contributions to retirement accounts
- Increasing income (negotiate a raise or add a stream)
- Paying extra on your mortgage
- Discussing your parents’ finances and estate plans
- Mapping out college payment options with your kids (without touching retirement savings)
Retirement savings goal before turning 50: Some experts recommend having saved 6 times your annual salary or making extra catch up contributions.
In your 50s Focus on:
- Taking advantage of catch up contributions
- Checking on your portfolio and diversifying if necessary
- Getting long-term care insurance
- Revisiting your will
Retirement savings goal before turning 60: Some experts recommend having saved 7 to 8 times your annual salary.
In your 60s Focus on:
- Making retirement plans — and tweaking based on what you can afford
- Planning out a retirement income strategy
- Deciding when to take Social Security
- Finalizing an estate plan
Retirement savings goal before retirement: Some experts recommend having saved 10 times your annual salary.
Important at every age: Chat with a financial professional. They can help you adjust these financial goals to your specific lifestyle and help determine if you may need additional strategies.
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