InvestED: Small Steps Lead to BIG Results…Over Time

My view from the drum set at a Christmas Eve church service

When I was 13 years old, I wanted to learn how to play the drums. I didn’t just want to play the snare drum alone, that’s boring. I wanted to rock out on the whole kit! When I first sat down and tried to play a full drum beat, it was overwhelming – how in the world am I going to get all my limbs doing different functions and actually have it sound good? The music teacher just told me to take a small step of practicing just 10-15 minutes a day. I started with just playing the hihat with my right hand and played that for a while until my brain put it on “auto-pilot” of sorts. Then I could add in the bass drum with my right foot. When playing the hi-hat and bass drum together started to become comfortable, I finally, after a bunch of tries, got the snare drum added with my left hand. I was playing a full beat! While I didn’t wake up a recording artist the next day, it was amazing how the small step of playing 10-15 minutes a day helped me achieve my goal!


When we meet with new clients, they often share that their goal is to save enough money while working so that they can retire. We often hear, “how much should I be saving for retirement to be “on track?” While that prompts more questions like – how old you are now, what age do you want to retire, how much do you want to spend in retirement, will you earn some income in retirement, etc, a good number to target is at least 15% of your gross income. Why 15%? A recent study by Fidelity showed that if individuals invest 15% of their gross income into retirement, they can retire or stop having to earn an income at 67.


A few questions might be coming to your mind right now….

1.) I have been investing, but I don’t know what percentage I have been using. How do I know if I am on track?

That same study by Fidelity shows a glidepath (in the chart below) for how much you should have saved by different ages to retire by 67. For example, by age 45, they suggest having 5x your income saved for retirement. By 50, 6x your income saved. How did they get to those numbers? They took 15% of the investors salary over their working years and added in an 8% growth rate.

2.) The second question on your mind might be - I know I am behind.

If you are behind, we would likely recommend saving more than 15% to start catching up. It is certainly easier said than done! Cutting back a little spending now so you can invest more goes a long way with the power of compound growth. There are a lot of ways to “catchup” – employer-sponsored plans, individual retirement accounts, HSAs, brokerage accounts, and insurance products. If you are 50 and over, the government allows some options for making additional catchup contributions for some employer-sponsored plans and Individual Retirement Accounts in a tax-deferred or post-tax manner. Depending on your income, it might make sense to make those retirement investments in a before tax or after-tax manner.


Would you benefit from knowing what small steps make the most sense for you right now?

Let’s chat. Wherever you are on your retirement journey, taking small steps towards your goal leads to big results…over time

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through M Holdings Securities, Inc., a Registered Broker/Dealer and Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. Rose Street Advisors, LLC is independently owned and operated. File # 5595458.1

Jeremy Heavey


Jeremy is passionate about partnering with individuals and families to identify what is important in their lives and creating a comprehensive financial strategy to help them reach their life goals. This holistic approach allows Jeremy and the wealth management team to ensure the specific needs of the client are front and center as they make investment recommendations and collaboratively design custom-tailored financial plans.


Jeremy has a professional track record starting, leading, and managing for-profit and non-profit organizations.  He is a graduate of Taylor University and has completed business programs at both Hong Kong Baptist University & Harvard Business School.  Jeremy is also formally trained and certified in behavioral assessment, conflict management and life coaching.  Jeremy, his wife Kim and their 4 kids reside in Kalamazoo.  They love spending time exploring the outdoors, fixing up their farmhouse, and living life with friends and extended family.


Fun fact:  Jeremy has been playing drums since he was 13 years old and made callbacks for the Blue Man Group.

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