By 35, you apparently need to have twice your salary saved for retirement

Hope you’ve been saving since your nascent twenties because the number listed is not pocket change. Fidelity Investments experts said you need to have a year’s worth of your salary saved by 30. By 35, that number needs to jump to double your salary.

Your thirties are when you and your friends reach important milestones. There are the big life markers of marriage and kids, but there are also money milestones financial experts say you need to reach to live comfortably.

According to financial experts cited by a recent MarketWatch report, you will need a lot of money to be financially secure for your eventual retirement.

Hope you’ve been saving since your nascent twenties because the number listed is not pocket change. Fidelity Investments experts said you need to have a year’s worth of your salary saved by 30. By 35, that number needs to jump to double your salary.

How many of us can save even a year’s salary?

This number produced sticker shock from thirty-somethings on Twitter that questioned how realistic this goal could be.

They are not alone in feeling like this goal is insurmountable. Too many of us are just one paycheck away from living on the streets.

More than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Poverty is just one inconvenient life emergency away from throwing our lives into complete upheaval. Approximately 63% of Americans have no emergency savings for a $1,000 emergency room visit or a $500 car repair, one survey found.


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Following the heated reaction from social media users, MarketWatch followed up with Fidelity Investment on why they listed that alarmingly high number. They answered that the number is meant to be more of a wake-up call than an exact number you need to reach. “It’s hard to make up for lost time,” Fidelity’s senior vice president Jeanne Thompson said.

So if you don’t have a year’s worth of your salary saved for rainy days, don’t panic. Just start by developing a relationship with your money. Keep track of what’s going in and out of checkings account. Notice what’s the biggest drain on your money, so you can see what can be trimmed. The point is to start saving now, even when the long-term goal seems intimidating.

“Not everyone can hit this perfect ideal practice but if you can take small steps closer to this guideline — as opposed to farther away — that is good,” personal finance blogger Desirae Odjick said. “You don’t have to go all in to be a perfect example.”

Monica Torres|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at mtorres@theladders.com.