Retirement Planning

How Much Should I Have Saved By the Time I’m 30?

Figuring retirement savings by age is a great way to ensure that you are on track for your future. If you are approaching 30 years of age, or are already past 30, check out the information below to make sure you have the proper amount in your 401k.

Retirement Savings By Age 30

Are you at or approaching age 30? Are you wondering if you've saved enough in your 401(k)? Because personal finance is truly personal and no two investors are alike, it's difficult to pinpoint where you should be by the time you're in your 30s.

In addition to your salary range and the number of years you have been in the workforce, other factors such as being a working student and having to pay down high-interest consumer debts can also affect how much you've been able to save up to this point in your life.

So how much should you have saved in your 401(k) by the time your 30? Assuming you have been working since you were age 22, a good benchmark would be to have somewhere around one year's salary saved. For some people that can be a challenge, especially if in your 20s you worked for lower wages, held several jobs, or worked for an employer who didn't offer a 401(k) plan with a match.

The positive news is that even if you fell short of being able to save as much as you would have liked in your 20s, it's never too late to start saving.

If you're still paying off debt and have yet to establish an emergency fund:

  • Find out what the maximum amount your employer requires you to contribute in order to qualify for a 401(k) employer match and take advantage of the extra savings.
  • If you're employer offers a 401(k) but with no employer match, then try to contribute at least 5 percent of your gross salary.

Once you begin to earn more, pay down debt, and have set aside at least $5,000 to $10,000 in an emergency fund:

  • Increase your 401(k) contributions from 5 percent of your salary to 10, 15, and even 20 percent as your budget and contribution limits allow.
  • Open a Roth IRA in addition to your 401(k) plan.

These may seem like simple 401(k) savings tips, but the reality is that there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer or specific chart for saving by age groups that you should follow. Everyone's goals and financial situations are different and simply contain too many variables for a single, hard and fast rule to be applicable.

However, regardless if you're reading this article as a twenty-something or thirty-something (or just about any other age group), there are some good rules of thumb that just about everyone can benefit from. They include:

  • Taking advantage of employer matching
  • Paying off high-interest debt
  • Opening a Roth IRA
  • Establishing an emergency fund
  • Staying on top of your finances by creating a budget
  • Increasing your 401(k) contributions as you begin to earn more
  • Making your contributions automatic and sticking to a consistent and regular process of saving

Retirement may be 30 plus years in the future, but unless you want to work forever, you need to look at every single dollar saved as one dollar that goes towards your retirement. If you want to read more about planning for retirement or even how to retire early, visit the Protective Learning Center.

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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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Retirement Savings

Reading about retirement savings by age can be a great way to make sure your retirement is on track. Are you wondering just how much you should have saved in your 401(k) plan by the time you turn age 30? Unfortunately, there really isn't a one-size-fits-all savings by age group that should be used as an exclusive benchmark because everyone's financial situation is different. However, there are some general guidelines, tips, and rules of thumb that can help you make the most out of your 401(k) savings - regardless of your age. For more information, visit the Protective Life Learning Center.