Is it too late to build a significant retirement nest egg? According to an April 6, 2010 article by Eileen Ambrose, Personal Finance Writer of the Baltimore Sun it is never too late. Ambrose writes: Not only isn't it too late, but a serious saver could accumulate well over $400,000 in a decade, according to calculations by Baltimore's T. Rowe Price Associates.
"Don't give up hope," says Christine Fahlund, Price's senior financial planner. "It's still something you can accomplish if you get out there and get going."
The earlier you start saving for retirement the better, of course. Even small amounts over many years can add up to a healthy pot of money without crimping your lifestyle. But in reality, many workers get a late start and some don't set aside dollars - even though they have the money to do so.
An annual survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute recently found that 29 percent of those age 55 and older had less than $10,000 saved for retirement, excluding houses and pensions.
The longer workers put off saving for retirement, the more overwhelming it can seem. So much so, planners say, that some workers might never get started.
That's why Price ran the numbers. By saving in a 401(k) at work, Price says, you can salt away a tidy sum in a decade.
Price ran scenarios for an individual making $80,000 and getting a 3 percent raise annually. It assumes an annual return of 8 percent.
A worker who saves 6 percent of pay per year - usually the minimum to get a 3 percent employer match in a 401(k) - would end up with $147,340 at the end of 10 years.
But what if a worker maxes out contributions, each year putting in $16,500 plus a $5,500 catch-up contribution permitted for those 50 and older? That's an ambitious 27.5 percent of pay initially. This worker would accumulate $444,610 over a decade.
Is that enough for retirement? That depends on your lifestyle.
But if you took the $444,610 and purchased an annuity that started immediately to pay out benefits, you would receive $2,705 a month for life, according to ImmediateAnnuities.com. And if you start taking Social Security the next year at your normal retirement age - 66 and two months - your monthly benefit would be $2,053, according to the agency's online calculator. That's a total of $57,096 a year. (Social Security also is adjusted annually for inflation.)
Putting away that much may seem impossible, but retirement experts say it may be more doable than you think.
Credit: Baltimore Sun, 6 April 2010.