New guidelines from Fidelity investments say that workers should have eight times their annual salary saved by age 67 if they want to retire comfortably.
As a young mom with a full schedule, retirement planning is just one of many things Dawn Mulcahey has a lot on her plate. When she heard Fidelity's recommendations - she wasn't sure how to accomplish it.
"There's day care costs, college is coming up soon - I can't imagine that amount right yet. It seems a little overwhelming," said Mulcahey as she played with her young son at Onondaga Lake Park.
Fidelity saysworkers should have one year's salary saved by age 35 and the equivilant of two years salary saved by age forty. Financial planner Ted Sarenski from Blue Ocean Capital says Fidelity's benchmarks will be challenge for many people but his calculations show it might not even be enough.
"When I did some numbers on my own, I came up that you were going to come up a little short at 8 times. I was coming up more between 9 and 10 times of your current salary - and that's only to give you 80% of what you're making when you retire," said Sarenski.
Sarenski acknowledged that many people have trouble finding money to save but he said small changes can make a big difference in the long term. Cutting out a daily cup of coffee that costs $2.50 would save $912 a year.
It's been more than a decade since James Chorley retired. He says a little saving early on in a career pays off down the road.
"As soon as the kids graduate college, start saving your money and be frugal to a certain extent. Don't be extravagent. Save your money and appreciate what you've got," said Chorley.
Financial planners say people in their twenties should contribute about 15% of their income to retirement. Dawn Mulcahey says having benchmarks to track retirement progress will help and she wants to be prepared.
"If that's what we're going to have to do to make it happen and be comfortable in retirement, then you buckle down and stay more on top of it," said Mulcahey.
Sarenski said saving for retirement is even more important for young people since Social Security benefits could be lower by the time they are ready to leave the workforce.
Consulting firm Aon Hewitt goes even further and recommends workers have 11 times their annual salary saved up by the time they are ready to retire. Aon Hewitt says that workers should contribute 15% of their income to their 401K and IRA accounts in order to secure a comfortable retirement.