Victor Rigoni Discusses How Much Money People Need to Retire Comfortably (And how to save appropriately)
Victor Rigoni III has years of experience consulting with clients on how to save money so they can retire comfortably. While each individual person or couple has unique circumstances and goals, some general practices can help anyone establish a pattern of success to save for retirement.
Victor Rigoni III’s Top Three Retirement Tips
#1 Deal With Debt
People can only juggle so many financial commitments. Saving for retirement is important, but they can’t truly commit to saving until debts are paid down. According to Ramsey Solutions, the average American household has more than $14,000 in credit card debt alone.
With an average national interest rate of 16.28%, Americans are potentially paying a couple of thousand dollars per year in interest alone. What if they could put those thousands of dollars toward retirement instead?
Victor Rigoni III believes this is one of the secrets to a successful retirement. Getting out of debt means people are living below their means so that they can put extra funds toward the debt they accumulated.
#2 Establish Good Money Habits
Anyone can live within their financial means if they manage money with purpose. A person can earn millions of dollars each year and still end up facing retirement without any savings. The secret to being successful at saving for retirement is to establish positive habits when it comes to money. Examples of good money habits include:
- Creating a budget – Know how much money is coming into the household and what the monthly expenses are because these numbers may change from month to month.
- Prioritizing saving – People should aim for earmarking 10-15% of their annual income for retirement.
- Planning large purchases – Don’t make expensive purchases at the moment without taking time to think about them first.
- Tracking financial progress – Become more accountable and make it easier to meet financial goals by writing them down.
#3 Plan For Retirement
Around 50% of Americans are saving for retirement without facing any major struggles. But are they also planning for retirement? Saving for retirement and planning for retirement are two different things, according to Victor. Anticipate all monthly and annual expenses in retirement by considering the following:
- Rent, mortgage, property taxes, insurance, etc.
- Utility bills
- Vehicle loan and regular maintenance
- Health insurance and medical expenses
- Groceries and household expenses
- Entertainment, travel, and other nonessential purchases
- Taxes on any retirement income that wasn’t taxed prior to saving
- Saving for the unexpected
While it’s difficult to anticipate how much these expenses will actually cost during retirement, tallying the items up compared to current expenses is a good place to begin. Once a retirement budget is established, compare it to retirement income per month. Do the income and expenses align? If not, assess where to make changes.
How Much Money to Save for Retirement
Some experts recommend that people save 10 times their annual income by the time they turn 67 years old. Factors that impact this number include:
- The lifestyle a person plans to maintain during retirement
- How a person’s income changes throughout their career
- Anticipated retirement age
- Plans to work part-time into retirement
Savers can establish milestone goals over the course of their career to ensure they are on track to save 10 times their annual income. Examples of this include:
- Saving a full salary amount by the age of 30
- Saving three times their annual salary by the age of 40
- Saving six times their annual salary by the age of 50
- Saving eight times their annual salary by the age of 60
- Saving 10 times their annual salary by the age of 67
When people see these numbers and aren’t on this track for saving, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Remember, it’s possible to catch up on saving by taking action and staying focused on the long-term goal.
Catch up on retirement savings with these tips:
- Automatically contribute any annual raises to retirement
- Set aside unexpected money for retirement instead of spending it
- Transfer work bonuses into retirement savings
- Consistently increase the percent of annual income that goes toward retirement
Saving for Retirement at Any Age
Saving in Their 20s
It’s important to save an entire salary during this decade. With 10 years to save, that equates to roughly 10% of income each year. A person who makes $40,000 per year needs to save around $335 per month. Keep in mind that savings come out of the gross income (before taxes and insurance) and not the net income (after taxes and insurance).
When a person receives an increase in salary, they should begin contributing more toward savings. The money saved during this 10-year span earns the most compound interest over the life of the savings. The more someone can save now, the better.
Saving in Their 30s
Great habits were established in the first decade of work. If a person isn’t saving at least 10% of their income by now, it’s time to buckle down and commit more money to saving for retirement. By the end of this decade, it’s important to have three times an annual salary in a retirement account.
If and when they change jobs, it’s tempting to cash out a retirement account because retirement seems like it is decades away. Instead, they should find the best way to roll over their retirement savings into a new account. Victor Rigoni III recommends seeking out the help of a financial advisor if unsure about the best type of retirement account.
Saving in Their 40s
During this decade, half of a person’s working years are behind them based on a retirement age of 67. It’s time for a retirement assessment. People who have saved effectively may have a false sense of confidence and allow their lifestyle to gradually grow more expensive, committing less for retirement.
Consider ways to manage a less expensive lifestyle by purchasing cheaper vehicles, homes, and household items like furniture and décor. Savers can take cheaper vacations and commit to emergency savings that protect them from taking on added debt or borrowing from retirement in a pinch.
Saving in Their 50s
Turning 50 is a special age when it comes to saving for retirement. It’s the age when the U.S. government allows $6,000 per year for catching up on retirement savings. Tack on an additional $1,000 for an IRA account. Savers who need to catch up on their retirement accounts should save the maximum they can.
This is also an important time to create an actual budget for retirement. If their income and expenses don’t line up as expected, people can consider how to downsize and spend less in preparation for retirement.
Saving in Their 60s
With less than a decade until retirement, it’s time for savers to put their retirement plan into action. Seeking the assistance of a professional is always a good idea at this stage. In fact, Victor Rigoni III recommends getting several opinions. This helps savers to have different retirement perspectives they may not otherwise consider.
As savers enter retirement, they need to plan for inflation of around 1.5% each year on their expenses. This means savers who retire with the expectation of living on $30,000 per year need to plan on having around $32,250 by their fifth year of retirement for the same lifestyle.
Saving for retirement is daunting, especially as the age of retirement approaches quicker with each passing year. It’s never too early or too late to begin saving for retirement or recommit to retirement goals. Start somewhere – anywhere – and establish one healthy money habit at a time until saving for retirement is second nature.