The Virtue of Retirement Savings: How Much Should You Save?

I hate talking about retirement savings. Our brains literally cannot comprehend that far into the future. The concept is too abstract, too intangible and until you get closer to retirement age, too irrelevant.

The concept of retirement puts a huge emphasis on individual responsibility. It implies that everyone is earning a wage that is enough to support their lifestyle and save for the future. This is not true. The system we are currently existing in rewards those who are lucky enough to have the right resources (access, money, education) available to them. 

Not everyone can save for retirement because they're can barely get by.  So for the those of you who can, this is a privilege you should take advantage of. Those of you who think you can't, do the numbers and see just how short your savings are. Even if you're a disadvantaged player in the system, operate with as much knowledge as possible. Use the calculator below to help you calculate how much you'll need in retirement and how much you should be saving each month. 

Retirement calculators are projections.

What you need to save is a factor of your current income now. The assumption is that you want to have a lifestyle not radically different than the one you're living today. There's no way to predict who you will be in the future, what your interests are and the lifestyle you'll want to be living - so keep that in mind. But also keep in mind if you're spending a bunch of money on shit you don't need, now would be a good time to start addressing that.

Projections are imperfect. We do the best we can with what we know, but we don't know everything. It's not impossible that one day robots will do all of our work for us while we lay around plugged into the matrix and money becomes useless. Our world is rapidly changing and we're doing the best with the information we have available to us.