Hint: It’s a Lot More Than You Think… and it’s a lot less than you’ve probably saved.

How much money do you need to retire in comfort and security? That’s the million-dollar question and for most Americans, that’s also the million-dollar answer.

According to Fidelity Investments, the nation’s largest retirement-plan provider, to be financially ready to retire by age 67, the average American should aim to have 10 times his or her final salary in savings.

Let’s face it. For most Americans “that just ain’t gonna happen.” The time you should start planning for your retirement is when you get your very first paycheck but even if you didn’t start then, there’s no excuse for not starting now.

If you accept Fidelity’s recommendation, and I highly recommend you do, here’s the time line in which Fidelity suggests you increase your savings so you can achieve that financial goal:

  • In your 20s, put enough away so that by the time you turn 30, you’ll have the equivalent of your salary saved.
  • By 40, aim to have three times your salary saved.
  • By age 50, you should have enough saved to equal six times your salary.
  • By age 60, your savings should be eight times your salary.
  • And you should save 10 times your salary by the time you reach 67.

Of course, life is never predictable. In some years you may have a greater surplus while in others you may suffer unexpected expenses so plan to adjust your savings accordingly.

Although most people will never have ten times their last year of salary saved for retirement start saving as much as you can beginning now so you have sufficient funds to truly make your sunset years, your golden years.