Here's a question I often ask financial planners when conducting interviews: How do you know if you're on track with your retirement savings, particularly at a (relatively) young age? Are there any guidelines, or savings thresholds you should be crossing at certain points in your life? Usually, the answer is something along the lines of "everyone's risk tolerance, timeline, and goals are different," so there is no magic benchmark.
A quick Internet search for retirement guidelines led me to Charles Schwab's "Strategies for Saving," which says that in your 20s, you should be saving between 10 percent and 15 percent of your income for retirement; in your 30s, you should shoot for from 15 percent to 25 percent; and in your early 40s, between 25 percent and 35 percent.
Survey data also provide some insight. Here is where 401(k) investors in their 20s stand, by salary range, job tenure, and account balance (the tables also list data on investors in their 30s and on up).
But none of this information satisfies my voyeuristic curiosity like this post from the blog The Simple Dollar, in which the author—who will soon celebrate his 30th birthday—offers a peek into his retirement portfolio. Be sure to check out the commenters, who share details about their own savings and investments.