As it turns out, you may not need a set-in-stone dollar amount to have a comfortable retirement life.
"That can seem daunting. The last thing you want to do is put out a dollar amount that's going to be discouraging," Michael Shamrell, vice president of Fidelity's workplace investing thought leadership, told Fox News Digital. "Fidelity wants to put out guidance that's going to encourage people to save for retirement."
The two most common questions Fidelity advisers get include: How much money do I need to save for retirement, and am I on track to reach that goal? With this in mind, Fidelity recently published milestones that "transcend" traditional guidance.
"It's not based on dollars. So you will see a lot of different reports that say, ‘Oh, you need X amount of dollars when you retire.’ And then you'll see a competing survey that says, ‘No, you need this amount," Shamrell pointed out. "It doesn't allow for people in different geographical areas of the country where there may be different cost of living."
FILE: Photo of money (Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
"These guidelines are applicable to you and your savings journey," he added, "and again, help you understand what you need to save as a multiple of your salary as opposed to just some dollar amount that's out there that may or may not be realistic for you."
By age 30, it’s recommended that you have saved at least 1x your annual salary. Then, it’s 3x your salary by 40, 6x by age 50, 8x by 60 and 10x by 67.
Even if you don’t meet these savings mile markers, don't fret, find ways to catch up, Fidelity says.
"In addition to giving that end goal that you may want to aim for, it gives you goals along the way because that is what we found was the challenge," Shamrell said. "So this tells people if they are on track [and] if they might need to save a little bit more, so they're aware of where they are in their savings journey before it's too late."
One of the most important things for retirement savers to keep in mind is that the process is a marathon, not a sprint, the expert pointed out.
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"Life happens, jobs are going to come and go, the economy is going to go up and down. The best thing that we can encourage people to do is take a long-term approach," the Fidelity VP said. "Don't try to make changes to your savings strategy based on short-term events. Try to take a long-term approach and make sure that any changes you might be making are part of your long-term strategy."
If you’re worried or concerned about your savings trajectory, Shamrell reminded Americans to consider additional modes of retirement income.
"There's always the consideration of working longer or even working part-time in retirement. It's also understanding how Social Security is going to play a role," he explained. "If you possibly have a pension, we don't see a lot of pensions among younger workers, but there are still a lot of pensions that exist among older workers. So it's important to know exactly what you have in terms of what will contribute to retirement income."
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While the youngest generation of workers allegedly demonstrates positive savings behaviors due to self-education through social media, Shamrell theorized, he noted how those closer to retirement age may be feeling anxious about their goals.
"Regardless of what the Fidelity guidelines are, you need to be at a point where you're comfortable with your asset allocation, you're comfortable with your contribution rate," Shamrell said while advising a combined savings rate of 15%.
"If you are nearing retirement, though, it might be time to take a step back and start putting a plan together," he added. "Start looking at all the different sources that you will have that can contribute to your retirement income, and possibly even looking at some guaranteed income options that you might want to implement once you hit that retirement age."
Stock market declines from the beginning of the year have amounted to trillions in losses for retirement accounts, and Americans are feeling the pain.
All ages of savers should actively remember that you won’t reach your retirement goals overnight.
"You don't want to create any additional anxiety because you're not comfortable with your overall retirement savings approach. But I would say this is where it's important to really try to stay the course," Shamrell said. "Again, market conditions will rise and fall many times throughout the typical worker's career. So it's important not to make too many changes based on short-term market events."