Critical questions for plan participants: How much should I be saving?

When it comes to making an investment in your retirement plan, you should aim to save at least enough to get a full employer match, if that is available for you. From there, consider how much you’re able to save from each paycheck. As a rule of thumb, 10 to 15 percent is a good goal. 

Creating a more detailed financial plan can help you better understand how much money you will need in the future. Once you know that number, you can work backwards to try and reach that goal. If you’re just starting to save and you’re not able to save 10 to 15 percent, take advantage of an auto-escalation feature if there is one. If your provider offers this feature, this will increase your savings 1 percent each year. In addition, it’s wise to increase your savings each time you get a raise. You can begin saving more before you even see a new number on your paycheck.