We've been chatting a lot about retirement around here and Real Simple seems to be on the same page. The fourth worry they name in their March issue feature is not knowing how much to save for retirement. I've already mentioned that specific retirement savings goals will vary from one person to another, but when you look at the big picture most have an ultimate goal of retiring comfortably. One financial planner the magazine spoke with said that ideally, you would save 15 percent of your yearly income for retirement but in reality few meet this percentage. To see what steps they recommend to figure out how much you need for your retirement savings just
- If you have not opened a 401(k), do so now: If your employer doesn't offer one then open an IRA and if you're self-employed consider opening a SEP-IRA.
- Dig up the following documents for you and your spouse: Most recent retirement account statements, the social security statement that the government sends you each year (you can get a replacement copy here, paperwork for your pension plan if you have one.
- Visit a free online calculator: Reference the documents you've gathered and play around with different retirement scenarios using a retirement planner calculator.
- If calculators leave you cold or bored: Think about making an appointment with a financial planner.