Insights & Advice


What’s your number?

Dalton — What’s your number? I know you’ve thought about it—the size of the investment portfolio you’ll need to feel comfortable retiring. According to a recent Charles Schwab survey of 1,000 401(k) plan participants nationwide, the number is $1.7 million. Here is where I’m supposed to tell you what you already know—that if you start investing about 10 to 15% of your salary when you’re in your 20s, you’ve got a good shot at hitting that number. Thank you, compound interest. But if you wait until you are my age, mid-40s, then you’ll have to save about one-third of your income to have a good shot at hitting that number. Blah, blah, blah. You’ve read that a hundred times. Let’s talk about what people don’t know: that they have absolutely no idea if that number, their number, is the right number.