A comfortable retirement won’t happen on its own. While we can rely on programs like Social Security for some income in our golden years, it is rarely enough to maintain the same standard of living compared to our working years. For the future most people want, you’ll have to save and invest regularly to make it all work.

How does your net worth stack up?

According to the latest data from the Federal Reserve, this is the median net worth of Americans by age bracket.

  • Age 35 or younger: $11,100
  • Age 35-44: $59,800
  • Age 45-54: $124,200
  • Age 55-64: $187,300
  • Age 65-74: $224,100
  • Age 75 or older: $264,800

Some of these numbers are eye-opening. Those in the 55-64 age bracket, on the verge of retirement, typically have a median net worth of just $187,300. While saving six figures may seem like a difficult feat, it is just more than two years of the median income for someone in the same age range, according to the data.

Twitter was up in arms after a recent article suggested that the average 35-year-old should have twice their annual salary saved. Whether that sounds realistic for you or not, it is important to make savings a priority for your long-term financial success.

Saving for your ideal retirement

According to most retirement experts, you should save at least 15% of your gross income (that’s income before taxes and other deductions) for retirement. If that doesn’t seem reasonable for you right now, you should get started with something.

With Evati, your savings are automatic. While we are a big fan of taking advantage of your employer’s 401(k), not everyone has access to employer-based savings plans. And even if you do, adding a little more to your savings never hurts, particularly if you are saving less than 15% per year.

Most people need around 60%-80% of their income to maintain the same lifestyle in retirement. Estimate your income for your last year of work and reduce that number by 20%. That gives you a target annual income goal to work toward.

How will you get there? No one has a crystal ball that tells us exactly what the markets will do, but we can expect both good years and bad years. With a consistent approach to saving and investing, you should be able to weather whatever the markets throw your way.

You can always catch up

If you are behind the average saver or behind your personal savings goal, no matter where you are on your journey, you are not doomed to poverty in retirement. But if you don’t take your retirement and other savings goals seriously, you will probably regret it later on.

In fact, a study last year by LendEDU found that of Americans 65 and older, the biggest financial regret is “not saving enough for retirement.” In third place, “I didn’t invest my money.”

Follow the wisdom of past generations. Get started on your savings and investment plan today so you don’t regret it later on.