By Nick Thornton
A typical household needs to save roughly 15 percent of their income annually to sustain their lifestyle into retirement, according to a brief from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
Generally, workplace retirement savings plans should provide one-third of retirement income, according to the study. For lower income families, defined contribution or defined benefit plans should provide a quarter of all retirement income. Higher income families will need their retirement plans to provide about half of all retirement income.
See also: Even wealthy retirees live off Social Security, pensions
Middle-income families will require 71 percent of pre-retirement income to maintain living standards after they leave the workforce. About 41 percent of their retirement income is expected to come from social security.
Low-income families need an annual savings rate of 11 percent in order to sustain their lifestyle into retirement, which is lower than middle-income families (15 percent) and high-income families (16 percent). For lower income families, social security will replace a greater portion of pre-retirement income.
The Center’s National Retirement Risk Index says that half of Americans lack adequate savings to maintain their standard of living into retirement. A “feasible increase” in savings rates by younger workers can greatly affect their retirement wealth.
For those middle-income workers ages 30 to 39 who lack enough savings, a 7 percent increase in annual savings can provide adequate retirement funding. But middle-income workers age 50 to 59 who lack retirement savings would have to increase their annual savings rate by 29 percent, an unlikely expectation, the report adds.
For those older workers behind the curve, a better funding strategy would be “to work longer and cut current and future consumption in order to reduce the required saving rate to a more feasible level.”
Delaying retirement to age 70 greatly reduces the annual savings expectations workers need to meet in order to fund retirement.
A worker who starts saving at age 35 will need a 15 percent annual savings rate in order to retire at age 65. But if the same worker delays retirement until age 70, only a six percent annual savings rate is necessary.
A worker who starts saving at age 45 would need to save 27 percent annually to retire at 65. But by delaying retirement to age 70, the same worker only has to save 10 percent to maintain their standard of living after retirement.
Originally published on BenefitsPro.com