The general rule: if you want to work for 50 years, retire for 20, maintain your expected standard of living, and expect a 5%/year real return on average, then saving 7% of your income should do it.

If you want to build up assets–to work for 50 years and then live off your income and hand down your capital to your descendants–it is, of course, harder, but saving 14% of your income should do it.

The key is (a) start early, (b) continue, and (c) don’t trade with people who know more than you do.

Brad DeLong

In terms of school spending, what’s significant about this passage is the fact that employees hired before July 27, 1976 will receive pension payments that amount to something in the neighborhood of $2,500,000 all told – 2.5 million dollars – along with free health care for life (no co-pay) without having had to save for retirement. Employees hired after 1976 had to contribute 3% of their salaries for 10 years.

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Public Employee Pensions in New York State
My Faith-Based Retirement by Joe Nocera
4 is not 2