In the most recent posts, I've addressed the necessity of having something (sizable) put away for old age. The million dollar question is how much money is enough to take you through old age? And, of course, what do you need to save (and when) to reach your target?
Retirement calculators available on the web, such as this one at Yahoo, are ,
A difficult factor to estimate is how income you will need to replace during retirement. Financial Planners will tell you that you need to replace 70-85% of what you spend. This is probably a safe estimate. But, frum families might have a number of other factors to consider, especially if they have run up debt putting on smachot, sending children to school, or whatever else (remember debt spirals up). Another major factor is the amount of support you foresee providing your children during retirement. While I hope to give my children a nice debt-free start and will consider helping with certain things, I'm not intending to provide regular support. But, many of my friends consider regular support to be their pleasure. So, they might want to estimate a replacement income of over 100% of their current expenses (the math should put a damper on any future plans).
While I think these calculators are informative and helpful, I think the most important thing is just to put away something now, if you haven't already, and to try to increase your retirement savings, if you have already established the habit. The hardest dollar to put away is the first dollar.
Continuing with Parshat Miketz from the last post, it says that at a certain point the count [of grain being preserved] ceased. The financial planner I work with at a local bank told me a little anecdote. His wife discovered a huge stack (a few years worth) of unopened envelopes for his retirement accounts. She asks him, "aren't you going to open these." He tells her, "no, I'm not counting." She was taken aback by his relaxed demeanor. But the relaxed demeanor is a function of a consistent and disciplined approach towards saving. At a certain point you can just "stop counting."