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Social Security isn't enough: Here's how much you should really be saving for retirement

Expert says to plan on at least 10 to 12 times your current income

ORLANDO, Fla. – You might not be as ready as you think you are when it comes to saving for retirement.

Today’s financial experts recommend saving at least $1 million to meet the cost of living during 
your golden years, which usually begin at age 70.

Nancy Hecht, a certified financial planner with Certified Financial Group Inc., said she designs a plan to cover her clients’ retirement years to age 90, “more often going into 95.”

“Average for a comfortable retirement not running out money today, is somewhere between ($300,000) to  $800,000,”  Hecht said. “That’s money working for you and supporting you for the next 20 to 25 years.”

Hecht said the notion that you can make it on a Social Security check alone is risky at best.

In fact, Hecht said, the longer you delay tapping into that benefit, the more value you will add to your
Social Security benefit each month.

“I don’t think people should take Social Security early unless they absolutely have to," Hecht said. “The credit is 8- percent a year for every year you delay.”

Under current tax law, you are eligible for full retirement benefits at age 66 if you were born between 1943 and 1954.

If your current benefit is $1,000 but you wait until age 70 to start taking benefits, you would add $360 to each check for the rest of your life: $1,000 versus $1,360 a month.

“No place gives you a guaranteed 8 percent, no place," Hecht said. “Anything you can do to save money for yourself, you should do it.”

Hecht also recommends using a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA to save as much as possible now.

Under current law, if you are under 50 you can invest up to $6,000. If you're over the age of 50, you can invest a maximum of $7,000. 

If you have a 401K available through your employer, Hecht strongly urges you to invest in it because the money grows tax deferred.

“Until you make withdrawals, you do not pay taxes on it," Hecht said. “For some people, that could be decades.”

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