My tax-advantaged retirement account from my employer offers a valuable piece of information on our annual statements.
It’s the amount of monthly retirement income I can expect, given the amount I have in there now.
This amount really was nothing to write home about. (It amounts to about 6% of my gross income.) But I’m forty, so I still have time to bolster this. Whether or not my age group has more saved up or less saved up than I do doesn’t matter, just like it doesn’t matter how much or little debt I have compared to other people. I need to look at myself, and my family’s needs.
This should be a feature of each and every annual statement from a retirement investment account. It’s a very helpful one. It’s not unlike the payoff statements that are now part of every credit card bill. (Credit card companies don’t want you to know how much you’ll pay if you make just the minimum payments, or how long it will take, but thanks to the CARD Act, they have to provide this information now.)
Starting early is the biggest way to get a head start on retirement savings. Starting late makes it virtually impossible to catch up, short of winning the lottery. So the more wake-up calls that urge you to get started early, the better.
May as well do it now. The clock is ticking.