Accumulators: Is your retirement plan on track?

Rules of thumb won't cut it for this important question. How to customize based on your own situation.

Christine Benz 27 August, 2018 | 5:00PM

Are you saving enough?

It might seem like the most basic of investing questions, but for many people, the "right" answer is elusive. Even people who are comfortable tackling sophisticated financial tasks like determining their asset allocations and conducting due diligence on individual stocks and funds may hem and haw when it comes to assessing the viability of their savings rates and, in turn, the soundness of their plans.

It's not hard to see why. The right level of savings depends on a huge gamut of factors, many of them highly dependent on each individual and others simply unknowable. Unless retirement is close at hand, few of us know how much we'll want or need to spend in retirement. Nor do we know how much of a helping hand market returns will provide over our holding periods, both in the years leading up to retirement and during it. And then there's the mother of unknowables: the duration of our retirement years, which requires us to forecast our own life expectancy.

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About Author

Christine Benz

Christine Benz  Christine Benz is Morningstar's director of personal finance and author of 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances and the Morningstar Guide to Mutual Funds: 5-Star Strategies for Success. Follow Christine on Twitter: @christine_benz.