Retirement Planning / How much to contribute to a 401k?
Apr 05, 2022
How much to contribute to a 401k?
I'm 32 and employed. How much is the right amount to contribute to a 401k? Any thoughts on how to think about that? I have no debt, have some savings and also an individual investing account through Robinhood. I'm also asking because I think I have the means to add more than the 7% of my salary that I'm contributing now. But, is there is rule of thumb or way to think about this or is it totally dependent on my situation? Thanks!
Replies (10)
J
2,811
Apr 05, 2022
@SaraJay, In my opinion, it depends on how much your budget can allow for. And the more you can contribute the better. A few questions: does your employer offer a match? how much is your take-home pay after expenses and other ear-marked savings? Frameworks to consider: (1) if your company offers a match, contribute at least as much as the match; all of that is free money, (2) then beyond that, if you're take-home pay is going to savings (earning negative), I would definitely increase your contribution amount to a level that you are comfortable with or that your budget allow for. Good luck!
Apr 20, 2022
@Jess225, thanks for your ideas here! Yes they do offer a 4% match.
C
Apr 08, 2022
@SaraJay, It's a smart question! I ended up doing it all by trial and error but started by putting up to my company match. Then, ended up budgeting, which helped me better plan out my monthly needs. Then anything that was left over, I ended up putting 70% of into my retirement accounts. As much as the answer to this is that it's personal, I'd at least try to get up the contribution amount that gets you the full company match if they offer one.
Apr 08, 2022
@SaraJay, I've heard that anywhere between 15 - 20% of your gross income is great. If you are only now adding to your 401k at 7%, then it may be worth bumping that up as a catchup.
Apr 20, 2022
@Bobby454, interesting, that's really good to know 👍
J
Apr 08, 2022
@SaraJay, here's another guide I've heard from Fidelity. By 30 years of age, Fidelity recommends having about one year's salary saved in your workplace retirement plan. So, if you make $50K, your 401k balance should be about $50,000 by the time you hit 30. And by 40 years, you should have saved about 3x your annual salary. These are just guides but they do blow my mind because I'm not even close.
Apr 21, 2022
@JosieFQE, I think that should not be applied to only 401k , rather it should be distributed among 401k, Roth, Traditional, Regular brokerage account etc. One just doesn’t need money in retirement only, as ppl may need money for buying home etc.. Live the life today as well.. And be thoughtful of future..
J
Apr 21, 2022
@TechyTanzy, That's a good point that those figures may be across all your accounts that you can use in retirement!
May 10, 2022
@SaraJay, Contribute at minimum the amount of the match. If they offer 4%, then put in 4% at minimum. See it as a guaranteed 100% return on your money. The high side is 20% and a really great goal to try for.
May 20, 2022
@XavierWD4, thank you!