It's hard to make saving for retirement a priority when you just started building a career or a family. But if you don't plan on working well into old age, starting on your retirement fund early is essential. Not sure where to begin? CNBC recently spoke to a money expert from Intuit and shared the savings goals you should be striving toward in each phase of life.
When you're in your twenties and just getting established in your chosen field, you ideally should be setting aside a quarter of your paycheck. Of course, this isn't a possibility for every 20-something living off entry-level wages and struggling with student loan debt. If the 25 percent mark isn't feasible for you right now, determine a percentage that is. When you're just starting out, how much you're saving is less important than the fact that you're saving at all.
After sticking to this plan, hopefully you'll have saved up the equivalent of your annual salary by age 30. (So if you make $65,000 a year, you'll have $65,000 in the bank.) By 40, this nest egg should grow to three times your salary. You should have five times saved by age 50, and seven times set aside by age 60.
When you're finally ready to retire around age 67, if you've saved consistently, you'll have 10 times what your annual salary was to support you in your later years. That may seem like an overwhelming goal, but keep in mind that doesn't just include the money you transferred to a regular savings account. Your retirement fund is the sum of your IRA and 401(k), including any matching funds you received from your employer. And the earlier you started saving, the more compound interest you will have accrued by retirement age.
Even if you're living paycheck-to-paycheck, there's still room in your life to develop smart money habits. Here are some tips you can use to start building a retirement account today.