Money is a personal matter. It's not that people should necessarily follow the traditional rule for not talking about it; it's that financial needs are unique for every person. How much one person needs in savings differs from what another person might need to ensure a stable future. But financial experts do have a few best practices people can use to determine how much people of various ages should have saved.
One of the most common rules of thumb is to go by annual income. This lets individuals tailor savings to match their own financial habits. Using this rule, individuals need to save:
- One time their income by age 30
- Three times their income by age 40
- Five times their income by age 50
- Seven times their income by age 60
- Nine times their income by age 70
Of course, this is a simplistic formula that doesn't take into account a person's dependents, debts, and other financial factors. Each individual may want to work with a financial advisor to understand their unique savings needs, so they can custom-fit a plan to their life.
For those wondering how much they should save by the time they're 20, again the answer depends on each person's situation. For those who are planning to move out soon and start independent adult lives, it may be a good idea to try to save at least a few months' living expenses.
Financial experts tend to recommend that individuals of any age have an easily accessible emergency savings fund with at least $1,000 in it. This type of savings isn't for the future. It's to safeguard individuals and families from immediate unplanned expenses, such as a car repair or medical bills.