What's Your Retirement Number?

The quick-and-dirty formulas are meant to motivate you to save more.

Imagine planning for a vacation you'll be taking some 20, 30 or even 40 years from now. You don't know where it will be, how much it will cost or how long it will last, but you're tasked with saving a chunk of every paycheck toward that trip until the day you embark on it. You're not even sure how much to save or when you have saved enough. Crazy, huh?

Welcome to the world of retirement planning, in which everyone younger than retirement age is expected to anticipate future expenses, figure out the amount that will cover those costs throughout old age, and save like mad until they hit the magic number. Unlike previous generations, for whom employers did some of the saving in the form of pensions, current and future generations must sock away most or all of the savings themselves.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Jane Bennett Clark
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
The late Jane Bennett Clark, who passed away in March 2017, covered all facets of retirement and wrote a bimonthly column that took a fresh, sometimes provocative look at ways to approach life after a career. She also oversaw the annual Kiplinger rankings for best values in public and private colleges and universities and spearheaded the annual "Best Cities" feature. Clark graduated from Northwestern University.