NC Total Retirement Plans, Retirement and Savings 101, wave image. Photo of boy with a model airplane.

Ways to Save

It’s never too late to start saving.  A well-tested and true piece of advice is to start saving as soon as possible and for as long as possible.  To be able to afford more of those “wants” that you have been dreaming about for your retirement,  take a close look at your sources of retirement income, which we call the three-legged stool: Social Security, an employer-sponsored pension plan, and personal savings and investments (such as a 401(k), IRA, annuity, or other investments).  Learn about saving for your retirement replacement income.

Saving: How Soon and How Much

The rates of return on investments can have a powerful growth effect on retirement savings accounts, even during challenging economic times. If you wait to save until later, you will miss out on returns that you could have had earlier. In addition, these returns are added to your principal and then compounded.

The amount you need to save will depend on your replacement rate.


George needs to replace around 42% of his pre-retirement income with pension benefits, a 401(k) account, or other savings. If George is 35 and has 30 years until retirement, he (or his employer) will need to put aside 14% of his income annually to achieve the desired replacement rate. If George waits until age 45 to begin saving, then he will need to put aside 24% of his income annually.

Required Savings Rate

Ret Grid.png ​