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By Elizabeth O'Brien
September 7, 2018

The Internet erupted in scorn earlier this year at financial firms’ recommendation that 35-year-olds should have two times their average salary saved in their retirement accounts. Let’s be real: There’s always a financial need that’s more pressing, whether that’s paying down student debt, repairing your car, or paying off a doctor’s bill.

Here’s the thing, though: your retirement isn’t going to fund itself. Today, Social Security replaces only 40% of the average worker’s wages. Tomorrow, that percentage could be even less. And it’s going to be hard to save enough in a last-minute sprint as you approach the end of your career. You’re going to need to pace yourself. So as hard as it is, try to set aside at least enough to get your company match, and increase your savings as you get raises.

To help you set some realistic goals, below are the average 401(k) balances in Fidelity accounts as of June 30, 2018:

And here are Fidelity’s recommended savings guidelines by age, assuming a retirement at age 67:

Age 30: 1x your salary

Age 35: 2x your salary

Age 40: 3x your salary

Age 45: 4x your salary

Age 50: 6X your salary

Age 55: 7x your salary


Age 60: 8x your salary

Age 67: 10x your salary


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