The Clock is ticking on Your Retirement

posted by iHeartMedia's Scott Crowder -

Investment group Vanguard says the average 401k has $104,000, but the median is only about $26,000 -- meaning a lot of us are nowhere near a hundred grand. You need to buckle down.

Michael Smith at Houston's STA Wealth Management says last year was a good year for savers.

"Remember in 2017 we had a very positive market, so I think coming off such a strong market you're gonna see positive results in 401K balances."

But Smith says if you're in your 50s, approaching retirement years, you need to contribute as much as you can to your 401K.

"Well, you should be at that max, $24,500, which is gonna be the maximum you can put in and remember that doesn't include any match your employer may put toward your 401K, as well."

If you're near 60 and your 401K balance is $100,000, your retirement is in trouble.

Smith says there's no shortcut.

"There's no trick to it; at the end of the day it's really digging down, digging into your budget and finding out where you can cut expenses and put that into savings -- and, you know what? That's just gonna be discipline."

 Smith says a 58-year-old should be contributing the max of $24,500 each year, in addition to what the employer contributes. It's estimated, for most of us, to have a drama-free retirement you'll need at least a million dollars in savings.

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