Saving for tomorrow is one of the most important things you can do today. But it’s a lot harder than it sounds. There’s always another bill to pay or surprise repair to fix that’s leaching your savings. You may not even know how much you need to be able to retire in comfort.

This makes your task challenging and confusing. If you aren’t sure how much you need to live out your golden years in comfort, keep reading to learn more about retirement planning.

Most People Aren’t on Track

If your retirement plan (or lack thereof) keeps you up at night, you wouldn’t be alone. The Northwestern Mutual’s 2018 Planning & Progress Study shows 78 percent of people admit to being somewhat to extremely concerned about having enough money for retirement.

That anxiety may be well-founded. Roughly 1 in 5 people have nothing set aside, and 1 in 10 have $5,000 or less squirrelled away.

What Do You Need?

With numbers like these, most people aren’t on track to retire at 65. That much is obvious, but what might not be as clear is how much you need to hit this benchmark.

In the past, a popular rule of thumb has been $1 million, but it fails to account for proactive savers who start early. One million only works if you plan on retiring soon. For people who have a couple of decades before that date, $1 million might not be enough.

You can thank inflation for this one. Inflation is why the price of goods and services go up over time. Unfortunately, the value of your money doesn’t see a similar bump, causing your purchasing power to diminish over time.

This means your needs may be drastically different from your colleague, friend, or family member. It all depends on how far away you are from retirement.

Finding your magic number is easier when you speak with a trained retirement specialist. Most financial institutions have them, including credit unions like Chinook Financial. A bank or credit union share their retirement calculators, wealth management tips, and succession plans tailored to your unique needs. Take some time to see how Chinook Financial can help you offset inflation with these tools and check in with other credit unions and banks for more information.

Start Saving Now

A retirement plan may seem daunting at any stage — whether you’re retiring soon or years down the line. But they all have to start somewhere, even if that’s just $10 to open a new savings account.

Check in with your budget to see where you can trim the fat to boost this $10 up to $100 or more, and commit to saving this amount consistently each month. To boost your monthly contribution, look first at the wants of your budget — or the fun stuff like visiting food truck festivals, concert tickets, and new gadgets. These are the easiest to purchases to control.

Then speak with your advisor to learn more about specialized savings accounts and employer-matched investments. These will help maximize each dollar you save, so they can withstand inflation.

Endurance — this is what your budget needs if you expect to retire at 65. Remember this as you reorganize your budget, commit to a savings plan, and speak with an expert. It’s a lesson that puts your retirement into perspective, so you can tuck away exactly what you need.