Sorry, folks, but there is no magic number when it comes to retirement savings goals.
Conventional wisdom has been that saving for a $1 million nest egg, or retirement income of 80 percent your current salary, is a good safety net. But advisors say such broad generalizations often miss the mark given consumers' disparate incomes, life expectancies and other variables.
"Everyone who is planning for retirement should aim to be mortgage free when they walk out on the very last day," said Karin Maloney Stifler, a certified financial planner in Solon, Ohio. "The lower you can drive your fixed costs in retirement, the more options you'll have."