The enormity of the task that is saving for retirement is often seen as a daunting one by even the most financially organized workers. They will likely need to save into the hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of decades, and anyone who has suffered setbacks in this regard at any point may have some reason for concern.

Fortunately, there are always a few rules of thumb that people can follow to make sure they’re on the right track to a financially secure post-career life, according to a report from the Motley Fool. Perhaps the single most important advice people can receive in this regard is that they should know exactly when they plan to retire. For instance, people can start withdrawing money from retirement accounts including pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs, or Social Security even before they hit the age of 65, and many take this step, but they also stretch every cent they’ve saved a little thinner on a per-year basis.

What does that mean?
In general, experts advise that people should aim to make at least 75 percent or even 80 percent of their final pre-retirement income once they pull out of the workforce. That will typically keep them comfortable while also accounting for many of the declining expenses that retirees face in comparison with working people. It should also be noted that the longer people work, they’re not only making more – and therefore contributing more to their retirement accounts – but also reducing the number of years from which they need to draw from those accounts to meet their living expenses. That, in turn, boosts their average retirement income annually.

Moreover, as people get closer to their planned retirement age, they would also do well to start putting more money per year into savings, often because they will face declining expenses in comparison with what they were dealing with 10, 20, or 30 years earlier when they might have still had kids, a mortgage, and the like. Otherwise, that money might be spent on more frivolous things (vacations, etc.) that, while fun, could be put to better use.

Who should be aware?
While carefully monitoring retirement savings, goals, and benchmarks over a course of years or even decades is a good idea for anyone, it might be particularly important for women, according to Human Resource Executive Daily. Data suggests that men tend to retire with far more substantial savings than do women, and that as a consequence, more women tend to fall short of their savings goals with respect to their final retirement ages. This happens despite the fact that the same percentage of men and women participate in comprehensive savings efforts. Indeed, women tend to stay in the workforce one year longer than men do, retiring at an average age of 69.

To learn more about smart paths to retirement planning, feel free to contact First United Bank & Trust online at, by phone at 1-888-692-2654 or by email at