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Retirement is expensive, and most of us are left to our own devices when it comes to building retirement nest eggs supplemented by Social Security and such things as annuities and pensions.

How do we know if we are saving enough for retirement? Tammera Prouty, vice president of Sound Financial Planning in Mount Vernon, offers this advice:

• Save at least 10 percent of your income. It’s best if you start in your 20s.

• Plan for a retirement that will last at least 30 years.

• Assume that you will need to replace about 80 percent of your current annual gross income in retirement.

Prouty uses back-of-the-napkin mathematics to estimate how much future retirees need to save. Start with 80 percent of your annual current gross income. Then subtract from that number the projected annual retirement income from Social Security, annuities, pensions and other sources. Divide the resulting number by 0.04.

The outcome is the approximate amount of money that you will need in savings on your retirement day, assuming that you withdraw no more than 4 percent from your nest egg annually.

— George Erb