A MarketWatch story stirred the internet into a frenzy this week. Citing advice from financial planners at reputable institutions, the article suggests that by age 30, you should have a year’s worth of your salary saved, and double that amount by age 35.
Online commenters formed an angry digital mob to lambaste what they felt were out-of-touch and unrealistic financial benchmarks for millennials.
Click to see how much people have saved for retirement in every state.
The opposition argued that debt, not personal choice, is to blame for millennials delaying marriage and homeownership. They also cited the 2008 U.S. financial crisis and stagnant wages as reasons for not being able to save more.
Results from a GOBankingRates survey could explain why people became so furious over what they considered an artificial benchmark. In August 2017, GOBankingRates asked, “How much money do you have saved in your savings account?” to understand just how much money Americans actually have stowed away.
The responses were alarming. Turns out, 57 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 saved. Even more concerning: Close to 40 percent of respondents reported having $0 in savings.
Forget MarketWatch’s advice — more than half of Americans can’t even save enough for a proper emergency fund to cover up to six months of expenses. The highest percentages of empty savings accounts reported came from residents in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts and Hawaii.
Saving for the long term and breaking the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck is paramount to your financial health and goals. But rather than following MarketWatch’s recommendation, analyze your own expenses and determine how much you can budget and save for a comfortable retirement. If you’re not earning enough to save for your future needs, seek out ways to cut costs and increase your income. With a little ingenuity, it’s possible to make extra money, leverage your work performance into a raise or find a new city that best sets you up for retirement.
Click to keep reading about how much you need to survive retirement in your state.