July 16, 2019

Road Trip to Retirement

By Joel Malick, Steadfast Wealth Co.

I’m sure the last time you were on a road trip you likely used some form of GPS to tell you right where you were. It may have even told you how far you had to go and what time you would likely arrive or if there was an accident ahead, right? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do the same thing for our retirement road trip? Well, it’s not quite the same exact science since there are far more variables to consider other than speed and traffic, but we are able to get a general gauge as to whether we’re heading in the right direction. We have two brief yet useful studies from JP Morgan that we hope you’ll find useful.

The first piece helps us understand how much might need to be saved today based on a certain level of household income. For example, if your household income is $80,000 per year and you happen to be 50 years old, then you would multiply 4.3 x $80,000 to find that $344,000 would be your GPS reading.

The second piece helps us avoid an accident ahead by knowing what we should begin contributing to our retirement plan (if we haven’t started yet) based on a certain age and household income level. For example, if you are 35 years old and have yet to start saving and you earn $50,000 per year, then your annual deferral rate should be 13%.

If you find that you’ve taken a wrong turn don’t be discouraged, the earlier you realize you’ve veered off course the sooner you can get back on track.


Joel Malick currently maintains the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) and Accredited Wealth Management Advisor (AWMA®) designations. Joel and his team at Strategic Financial Partners recognize that running this race for the long term is one of the greatest challenges you’ll face in your lifetime.  Thus, they combine critical planning and investment strategies with real-life perspectives. Their consultation is provided at no additional cost to 403(b) Alliance Retirement Plan participants.

Posted in: 403(b) Plan Tools