Unfortunately, for many unexpected expenses (kids, medical bills, car repairs) can put a crimp in the best laid plans. That's why it's wise to overspend when you're young. The folks at Fidelity recently published their research recommending what level of savings people should have (depending on their age) in order to make sure that they won't be impoverished during retirement.
Fidelity's rule of thumb for savings is below:
- 35 year olds should have 1x their annual earnings
- 40 year olds should have 2x their annual earnings
- 50 year olds should have 4x
- 60 year olds should have 6x their annual earnings.
(It's also worth noting that Fidelity assumes a long run return of 5.5% on your savings. However, given how poorly the stock market has performed since 2000, and the federal reserves tendency to keep interest rates extremely low (Thereby taxing savers), that 5.5% return might be difficult to earn during the five years.
We're also interested to hear about your own thoughts on savings---What do you think is the right amount for you given your current age? Are you ahead or behind where you thought you would be at this time. What advice would you give you children regarding their savings plans?