Been reading about savings and saw by age 30 I should have saved twice as much as my income.. but is that current income or when you first started your career? Being in HCOL I guess didn’t help.. i’m even barely 1/2 of my first year income

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What do you mean by savings? Are you talking about a general net worth goal, retirement savings, etc.? What is reasonable varies widely, but I personally benchmark the average of my income over all my full time working years when I compare to these types of general guidelines because my current income is over 8x what my income was my first year's full time working income. My income has increased rapidly in recent years, so multiples of my current income would be far higher than the average and also far less realistic to achieve, as would be the case for anyone.

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Twice as much as your existing income

Ideally yes, your income now. So if your income at age 30 is 100k, they say to have 200k.

HCOL really doesn't help with this, obviously. But also don't get too down if you're not there (most people aren't). The best time to start investing is when you were 18, the second best time is now. The most important thing about saving is your savings rate. What is your % of income that you're saving (across retirement and all accounts). Try and make that as aggressive as possible because the reason you want to invest early is because of compounding interest. The longer it takes to get started the more you'll need to save in future to "catch up". Just try and get this number as high as possible (aim for goal of 20-25% Gross across everything). no matter where you are now, just every raise/every debt payoff, try and get closer.

“Money with Katie” recently posted an article about this exact same question. I suggest you look up her finance blog. I don’t agree with everything she says but she’s pretty good at laying things out in simple terms.

Does paying back student loans count as saving cuz that makes it difficult lol

Are you $10k richer now?

I’d be curious what “savings” means in this case. Is it retirement accounts? Retirement and cash/savings? Net worth that includes equity? I’m 26 and this year my income jumped 30%, I bought a house a couple years ago and put 20% down. I don’t see hitting double my salary at 30 (given I expect my salary much higher by then too). But if we include my home equity it would be a different story.

Sounds like a good career change financially! Congrats on that :)

You had two major life events in rapid succession (new homeowner, new career) so I think it's pretty reasonable that rules of thumb wouldn't perfectly apply.

If you keep your living expenses in check as your income rises, I expect you'd be able to "catch up" to that level without a whole lot of difficulty, if you wanted to do so.

First of all, I am pretty sure conventional advice is 1x at age 30 - at least for retirement savings - and most people don't hit that even accounting for all net worth.

Second, most of these indicators are long-term conventional wisdom techniques. Clearly you are in an industry that sees big jumps in income year-to-year. 40-70 years ago, this was not the norm. Young people earned what old people earned - or often more due to their higher value - without any noteworthy bump in pay in their 30s and 40s. (Good tweet about this distribution last week that I need to dig up)

These metrics are based on current income level since that is the life you will aspire to maintain. But hopefully there is more wage growth ahead and you can avoid lifestyle creep and base this metric on whatever income level led you to the quality of life that you are content with maintaining (pre-tax/savings).

I would usually include home equity as that is your most significant asset and a significant factor for retirement unless you are too emotionally invested to use it as a financial asset and refuse to downsize.

You are probably fine and not behind. Just watch and catching up is possible with caution.

2x your income by 30 is very aggressive. If you have no student loans and you buy a house in a growing market it’s possible, but not realistic for most people. If you’re able to hit that then your doing very well.

I’m 30 and my net worth is around 1.3x my net worth. I got pretty lucky and made a decent amount in bitcoin.

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