KNOXVILLE, Tenn — A recent survey from Bankrate shows 1 in 5 Americans are not saving anything.
That means no money for emergencies, big purchases or retirement.
Financial experts are concerned, especially since the average retirement costs around $45,000/year without any unexpected expenses like medical costs.
"It's hard to come up with a solid nest egg figure. It's really going to have to do with what you want to get out of your retirement and what it is you're doing now to plan for it," said Lina Kornmeyer, Bank of America Senior VP Knoxville Market Manager.
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If you aren't saving yet, don't panic.
Start small and add to the amount you are saving each month.
Financial experts recommend tackling credit card debt before adding to your savings account.
Pay off the cards with the highest balances first not the highest interest.
You can ask your bank to do this automatically.
Then add to a savings account, and always take advantage of a 401k if your employer offers one.
If you're in your early 20's you can become a "lunch-bag" millionaire by brown-bagging it to work and cutting back on dining out.
Take all that money, an average $325/month, and put it into the stock market every month.
"It's possible with good decision-making, planning ahead and making some sacrifices. If that's what you aim to do, you can absolutely do it," said Kornmeyer.
The hill gets steeper as you get older but not impossibly steeper.
At age 30 you will need to put away $645/month to hit one million.
By age 40 you will need to bank $1,400/month.
A spouse, who is also earning, can help you reach your family's retirement goals.
If you've really been putting-off saving for retirement, and you arrive at age 45 without giving it much thought, you will need to come up with $2,000/month to hit the million dollar goal.
If you wait until age 50 you will need $3,000/month.
By age 55, the number climbs to a staggering $6,000/month.
But don't be too deterred by the math.
Saving even portions of those amounts can still result in a comfortable retirement.
"85 percent of your current income is a good goal to start with looking towards as you plan for retirement," said Kornmeyer.
Saving has never been easier thanks to technology, and some money saving apps that can do the hard work for you.
Digit helps you save without even thinking about it.
It looks over your income and analyzes your spending habits then transfers money from your checking account to your Digit account based on what you can safely afford.
It is $2.99/month for the first 100 days, and it has a no-overdraft guarantee.
If you're looking for an app without fees, Tip Yourself rewards you through saving.
The digital tip jar links to your checking account, letting you transfer money for positive behavior.
Make sure you have money stashed away for a rainy day.
Free savings accounts like SmartyPig help you stay accountable with a goal planner while also accruing a higher rate of interest on your saved money.
Whatever you do, the important thing to remember is to save. Even if you can't match those numbers, saving something is better than nothing. And the earlier you start, the more you'll have, so get moving!
Click here to find out if you are on track for retirement.
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