Q: I’m 32, single, with $115k income and my retirement goal is $15k/month pension. What’s the best investment for me that leans more on Roth IRA?

Calculating what you need to save isn’t hard, but it does require making a lot of assumptions. So to keep this simple, I’ll list the assumptions at the bottom. But the quick answer is you need to save about $4,000/mo.

If your income is $115k/year, that’s about 40% of your gross paycheck, and a whole lot more than that of your net check. That said, it’s a difficult goal, but not impossible.

Since you are single, you’re definitely in a higher tax bracket, so I would recommend maxing out your 401k first. Hopefully you have one, and you have a decent size company match. Certainly take advantage of that, since it’s free money. Then add the Roth IRA on top if you are eligible. Important note: by maxing out your 401-k, you may help yourself become fully eligible for a Roth IRA, since the Roth IRA income phase-outs for singles is between $114-129k.

To answer the investment question, since you are young, you have time to be more aggressive. Quick tip: you’ve never lost money in stocks (assuming you are broadly diversified) if you have 15 years to invest. I would suggest starting your research with Vanguard or iShares index funds.

Best of luck,



  • age 65 retirement date
  • 3% inflation
  • $1 current balance
  • monthly savings do not go up with inflation/raises/etc
  • $15k/month goal is pre-tax, and in today’s dollars

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