Use this age-based guide to keep your retirement plans on track through all stages of life. And don't worry if you're not quite there—you have options.
In Your Early 20s
Put a dent in student loan debt and/or high-interest credit card debt. 9
Start building an emergency savings account, with at least 3-6 months of expenses.
If your job offers a 401(k) or 403 (b), aim to save at least 10% of your pre-tax income. 1
Take advantage of your employer's matching contributions, if applicable. 4
If you are a self-employed/an independent contractor, open a SEP IRA.
By Your Late 20s
Make sure you have a current will, financial and health-care durable power of attorney.
Keep contributing to your retirement accounts and aim to have 1X your annual salary saved by 30.5
Pay down most or all of your student loans/high-interest debt. 5
Try to bump up your 401(k) match to at least 15% of your pretax income. 4
By your Mid-30s
Start a health savings account (HSA). 14
Create an estate plan—especially if you’ve gotten married, divorced or had children.
Identify how you’ll keep tackling debts while still saving for goals like home buying or a child’s future education.
Keep contributing to retirement accounts and check in with your retirement balances:
Have 3X your annual salary saved in retirement by age 40. 5
Open an individual retirement account (IRA) or a ROTH IRA. 2
By your mid-40s
Have 6X your annual salary saved by the time you’re 50. 5
Explore getting supplemental life and disability insurance. 5
If you’re on track for retirement, invest extra money in taxable accounts. 5
Meet with a financial/legal professional to determine if you need a living trust. 7
Make sure beneficiaries are current on your retirement accounts or established in an IRA trust. 13
By your mid-50s
Have 8X your annual salary in retirement by the time you’re 60. 5
Determine how much you’ll need for retirement based on your lifestyle now and the one you want in retirement.
Buy long-term care insurance. 12
Business owners: Ensure you have a succession plan in place.8
Have 10X your annual salary saved. 5
Create an income-distribution plan for retirement. 5
Ensure wills, trusts, beneficiary designations are still accurate based on your desires. 5
Determine when you need to start taking social security withdrawals. 11
Collecting between ages 62-65 while still working could reduce your benefit amount. 11
The views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of Fifth Third Bank and are solely the opinions of the author. This article is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute the rendering of legal, accounting, or other professional services by Fifth Third Bank or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates, and are provided without any warranty whatsoever.