Reading about people saving large percentages of their salaries to save for early retirement makes me think: What percent of my earnings am I saving?

And how do people figure this out? Before taxes? After taxes? Before paying my health care amount? Before or after my union dues?

I think that to keep things simple for now, I’d like to figure out what percent of my take home pay I put aside for retirement.

For each paycheck, I put \$300 into my 403B and \$40 into my Roth 403B, so that’s \$340 each paycheck. I receive 26 paychecks a year–a paycheck every other week. So that’s \$340 times 26 checks a year. I’m putting away 8840 a year.

Without considering taxes, the retirement my employer takes out of my check automatically, my share of health care, dental, vision and without my union dues, I take home about \$2,760 per month.  Oops, I forgot to add in the amount per month that I put into retirement. That’s an extra 680 a month. So 2760 plus 680 is 3440. The amount of money I have a say over is 3440 per month. (41,280 per year).

So 680 is what percent of 3440? The answer is: 19.767441860465%, so about 20%. is that the same answer I get when I look at it in terms of the whole year’s numbers? 8840 is what percent of 41,280? The answer is: 21.414728682171%, which is slightly higher. Weird. I have no idea what I did differently. I’m still going to call it at about 20%

I’m putting away about 20% of my take home pay. Cool. Now I can look into how others calculate their % saved to compare–not in a “compare” like “you’re better/worse than me,” but let’s see what others are doing so that when I visit my financial planner, I can have questions in mind.