Study: You Need 22 Times Your Desired Annual Income in Retirement Savings

Tuesday, 04 Feb 2014 07:05 AM

By Dan Weil

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How much money do you need to save for your retirement?

Try 22 times the annual income you want during your golden years, according to a recent study in the Financial Analysts Journal by Stephen Sexauer, chief investment officer for U.S. multi-asset management at Allianz Global Investors, and Laurence Siegel, who heads the CFA Institute Research Foundation.

That means if you want annual income of $100,000 (excluding Social Security), you must have $2.2 million in retirement savings, notes Jason Zweig, who discusses the duo's findings in his Wall Street Journal column.

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He says the 22 figure exceeds previous estimates, "but it offers near-certainty of hitting your target."

To make sure that your retirement plan works, "you would consistently fund it with ample savings, invest patiently in low-risk assets and structure the payouts to provide steady income during a long retirement," Zweig writes.

And how should you invest your savings? Sexauer and Siegel recommend placing the majority in Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) and the rest in a deferred life annuity for secure payouts.

Meanwhile, a study by Wade Pfau, a professor of retirement income at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., finds that you must save at least 16.6 percent of your salary each year to finance a comfortable retirement, Yahoo reports.

Pfau assumes that you want to replace 50 percent of your pre-retirement income, that you will save and invest for 30 years and will spend 30 years in retirement. He also assumes a 60 percent weighting in stocks and 40 percent in bonds.

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