You'll often hear that saving for retirement is important for a multitude of reasons. Those run the gamut from ensuring you have enough money to live comfortably as a senior to maximizing tax breaks, at present.

Once you retire, you can expect Social Security to replace about 40% of your former wages. But that assumes a couple of things.

First, it assumes that you earn a pretty average salary. If you're a higher earner, Social Security might replace a much lower percentage of your pre-retirement income.

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That 40% figure also assumes that Social Security benefits aren't slashed in the future. And right now, that's a real possibility. The program's trust funds are set to run dry as early as 2035, and if lawmakers don't find a way to pump more money into Social Security, benefit cuts may have to happen.

But even if that 40% replacement-income figure stands, most seniors need more money than that to maintain a decent standard of living. So either way, it's smart to build retirement savings independently.

There's also the tax-savings angle to look at. If you save for retirement in a traditional 401(k) plan or IRA, the money you put in will exempt a portion of your wages from taxes up front.

But in a recent Allianz Life study, a good 54% of Americans admitted that they've either reduced their retirement plan contributions or paused them entirely, due to inflation. And those who continue on that path might lose out in multiple regards.

How to stay the course while inflation is surging

It's easy to see why so many people are cutting back on IRA or 401(k) contributions or stopping to contribute to these accounts entirely. Inflation has driven the cost of living upward to a major degree. And if you're forced to choose between putting food on the table or funding a retirement plan, then you're obviously (and understandably) going to choose the former.

But if you have some flexibility in your budget, even with inflation surging, then it pays to keep funding your retirement savings for the reasons above. And you may have an opportunity to ramp up soon.

Many people get bonuses from their employers at the end of the year for a job well done. That's money you may be able to sock away for retirement.

Furthermore, if your pay will be increasing in 2023, try allocating your entire raise or a portion of it to retirement savings. Since it's money you're not used to living on, you may not miss it too much if it lands in your 401(k) instead of your checking account.

Finally, consider taking advantage of the gig economy by boosting your income with a side job. Right now, second jobs may be more abundant due to businesses needing extra holiday help. You can use your earnings from that job to pad your retirement savings -- and make up for lower contributions during the year.

We could, unfortunately, be in for many more months of rampant inflation. But it's important to do your best to stay on track, as far as your retirement savings go. Doing so could help ensure that you're able to live comfortably once your career wraps up, all while making it possible to enjoy some decent tax savings.