One of the best decisions you can make as a 20-something is to start saving money early and often. Because thanks to compound interest, you’ll end up with more money than you put away when you’re ready to retire.
But many people wonder, is there a benchmark for how much I should be saving? According to Mary Beth Storjohann, a certified financial planner and the founder of financial planning firm Workable Wealth, there’s no right amount.
“That’s the question that I always get … ‘How much should I be saving right now? How much do I have to put away?'” said Storjohann, whose clientele spans their 20s, 30s, and 40s, on a recent episode of Farnoosh Torabi‘s “So Money” podcast.
really is dependent on your goals and the lifestyle that you have for yourself now, and the lifestyle that you envision for yourself for the future,” she said.
Storjohann doesn’t like to tout exact figures for how much you should be saving, but she said there are general guidelines for those just starting out. “If you’re in your 20s, try to save at least 10% of your net income, if you’re in your 30s, try to save at least 15%,” she said.
Storjohann said millennials, in particular, have the misconception that they should be in the same place, financially, as their peers. She said clients often ask her, “‘How do we compare to other clients? How do we compare to other people you’ve talked to?'”
“[With millennials] there’s a lot of stress and anxiety around money, and feeling like you should have all these things taken care of …” she said. “I talk about FOMO and how social media impacts us and the way we compare ourselves and kind of beat ourselves up also.”
Storjohann’s advice to young people is to meet with a financial planner that will help you better understand your personal financial situation and goals. From there, you can determine how much you should be saving to meet your goals, whether that’s retiring rich or quitting your desk job to travel the world.
“With our finances, we looked to what everybody else has and we don’t actually spend the time figuring out what it is that we want for ourselves and how we can get there,” she said.
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