Do you know how much money you need for retirement? If you're like most people, you probably don't. According to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, most of us just guess how much we'll need once we stop working. Only 1 in 10 people does any sort of calculation at all.
That might help explain why, on average, Americans are on track to replace less than 60 percent of their income during retirement. Financial experts generally recommend that retirees replace at least 80 percent, given the rising costs of healthcare.
The best way to unveil the big mystery is to punch some numbers. Luckily, online tools make it easy. Banks and brokerage firms increasingly offer calculators that can automatically incorporate your personalized information; Fidelity, T.D. Ameritrade, Transamerica, and T. Rowe Price are among those that do. If you prefer to do your own research, consider plugging your details into one of Bankrate.com's retirement calculators. Be sure to experiment with different rates of return, inflation rates, tax rates, and lifetime expectancies, since no one can predict those factors with any accuracy.
Meanwhile, consider these six strategies for getting your 2012 retirement savings on track to provide fully funded golden years.
By US News