8 rules of thumb on saving and retirement

How much should you save?
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The rule of thumb: You should always save at least 10 percent of your income toward your retirement.

Why it works: The 10 percent rule gives people a simple, memorable target to work toward, especially if they're starting a serious saving regiment for the first time, says Michael Baughman, a Certified Financial Planner with Abacus Planning Group in Columbia, S.C. And depending on how early you start, saving 10 percent throughout your lifetime could well be enough to provide a solid retirement nest egg when you're ready to leave the work force, he says.

Grain of salt: Keeping the same target throughout your life ignores how much financial situations and expenses fluctuate throughout lifetimes, says Finke.

"When you're young, you should be borrowing money so that you can get an education," says Finke. "You'll have more room in your budget later on when your income goes up during middle age, and you'll have fewer expenses."




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