21+ Retirement Savings Statistics to Know in May 2020

Saving for retirement is something a lot of people put on the backburner.

Until it is too late, that is.

People are simply living paycheck to paycheck…

And there isn’t much left to put aside.

Others have some leftover money after covering the monthly expenses, but aren’t sure how much they need to put in their retirement fund.

Retirement savings statistics will open our eyes.

Awareness is paramount, guys.

Let’s get started!

Retirement Savings: Stats and Facts(Editor’s Pick):

  • The median retirement savings are $5,000.
  • The median retirement savings for people aged 44-49 are $6,200.
  • The average amount of retirement income for households aged 60-64 is $89,882.
  • ⅓ workers estimate they will need at least $1 million for retirement.
  • Households aged 70-74 have a net worth of $218,200 at retirement.
  • 8 out of 10 workers think they will need to work for income in retirement.

It may sound scary, yes.

There are some basic guidelines regarding the recommended retirement savings by age 62, which is when most people retire. Most experts agree that by the time you are 60, you should have eight or ten times your current annual salary in retirement savings.

So how do you fare compared to the average savings of Americans? Take a look at the stats below to find out:

Let’s have a good look at what statistics has to say:

Average Retirement Savings

Americans have a total of $1.2 trillion in savings. But how much of that is for retirement?

The stats below show us what is the average amount of savings people from all ages of the workforce have. They also cover the average amount depending on age.

1. The average retirement savings in the US are $95,776.

(Source: American Equity)

The average savings of working households between the ages of 32 to 61 is $95,776. This figure makes it sound as if most Americans have enough to retire.

However, that is not the case.

It is important to note that extremely wealthy households increase the average. A better indicator of the amount of savings Americans have is the median amount.

2. The median retirement savings are $5,000.

(Source: American Equity)

Both the average and the median amounts need to be taken into account for more accurate retirement savings statistics. The average is calculated by dividing the total of all retirement savings with the number of people. The median is the amount that is smack in the middle of the total of savings. Or to put it simply, the median amount represents how much the majority of people have in savings. It excludes those who have an extremely high amount and those who have an extremely low amount.

The Northwestern Mutual’s annual study – Planning & Progress Study, includes some interesting retirement savings statistics. In the latest, 2019 study, they have found that 22% of Americans have less than $5,000. The year before, the share of Americans having less than $5,000.

What’s worse is that compared to last year, this is seen as an improvement. In 2018, 31% of Americans had less than $5,000 in retirement savings. 21% of the respondents that year had no savings at all.

3. The average retirement savings of people aged 32-37 are $31,644.

(Source: American Equity)

People from this age range are considered to be older millennials. They have around $30,000 in retirement savings on average. Note that the median amount is only $480. This generation has lower than average savings as they have entered the workforce later. People that have just started their careers also have lower incomes on average. They also have other financial priorities such as buying a home. So, if we look at the average retirement savings by age, we will find that older generations will have saved up more money.

4. People aged 38-43 have retirement savings of $67,270 on average.

(Source: American Equity)

The older millennials and younger gen X-ers have had more time to put some money aside for their retirement. And the median retirement savings they have are 10 times bigger than that of the previous age group. It amounts to $4,000. The average retirement nestegg definitely increases with age.

5. The median retirement savings for people aged 44-49 are $6,200.

(Source: American Equity)

The average savings for gen Xers are $81,347 which is an amount that is slightly below the average for all working adults. However, their median amount is slightly above the median amount of savings all age groups have. Understandably so, as they are getting nearer the average retirement age which is 62 in the United States.

6. People aged 50-55 have a median amount of savings of $8,000.

(Source: American Equity)

Older gen X-ers are ahead when it comes to retirement savings, with their average retirement savings amounting to $124,831. People from this age group are usually well established in their careers. Seeing how they are the closest to retirement, they should be putting a significant portion aside if they want to leave the workforce anytime soon.

7. The median amount of retirement savings for people aged 56-61 is $17,000.

(Source: American Equity)

Baby boomers are the closest to leaving the workforce, so the average savings at age 65 should be the highest. In general, this generation has a lower cost of living. People from the boomer generation should have paid off their mortgages. With no student debt, they are more likely to have the highest amount of disposable income.

Average American Retirement Income

What are the average and median retirement income for Americans?

Let’s find out!

8. Households aged 55-59 have a mean retirement income of $103,423.

(Source: New Retirement)

According to the US Census Bureau, the mean retirement income for people aged 55-59 seems quite high. Again, it is important to remember that the median is a better indicator.

And the median retirement income for this age group is $73,645. We should also note that the amount is linked to households, not individuals.

9. The average amount of retirement income for households aged 60-64 is $89,882.

(Source: New Retirement)

The median for households aged 60-64 is $63,919 – an even lower amount compared to the previous age group. As for the average retiree income, it was calculated to be $89,882.

10. Households aged 65-69 have a mean income of $79,772.

(Source: New Retirement)

The majority of older adults have little or no savings or income. In fact, according to the Pensions Right Centre, half of Americans that are 65 or older have less than $24,224 in retirement income.

The average retirement income for households between the ages of 65 and 69 is $79,772. The median is an even lower amount – $54,124.

11. Households Aged 70-74 have a retirement income averaging at $68,052.

(Source: New Retirement)

The average american retirement income for those aged 70-74 is $68,052. The median is $46,797. These stats don’t paint a nice picture of life after retiring. It seems like most people will probably need to continue working to supplement their incomes. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to work past 65.

12. The mean retirement income for households older than 75 is $49,614.

(Source: New Retirement)

The median income for those older than 75 is $31,893. This amount is 2 times lower than that of households aged 55-59.


What is the average retirement income? Which amount should we take into account?

The answer is complicated. Some retirees continue working. Some have income from savings, self funded accounts or pensions. While the median amount is more realistic, it still varies between generations. This is why it is important to start planning for retirement as soon as possible.

Average Retirement Net Worth Statistics

The net worth is the amount of money left after subtracting all of the debts. So let’s see how much are retired households worth.

13. Households aged 55-64 have a net worth of $178,300 at retirement.

(Source:Good Life Home Loans)

Households aged 55-64 have a significantly higher net worth than households aged 45-54. The former has a net worth of 178,300, whereas the latter has a net worth of 104,300.

14. The average net worth at retirement for households aged 65-69 is $197,500.

(Source: Good Life Home Loans)

Households aged 65-69 are closest to the median net worth of all households aged 65 and older. It amounts to $201,500.

15. Households aged 70-74 have a net worth of $218,200 at retirement.

(Source: Good Life Home Loans)

The oldest baby boomers are worth the most at retirement. They are also the only group with a net worth that is higher than the median.

Unlike them, households aged 75 and older have a retirement net worth that is slightly below the median — $193,600.

Let’s ask the big question here:

How Much Do I Need to Retire?

The following retirement savings statistics show how confident Americans are in their savings and income.

16. 1 out of 3 workers estimates they will need at least $1 million for retirement.

(Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute)

The 2019  Annual Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that only 4 out of 10 workers have tried to calculate how much money they need for a comfortable retirement.

When faced with the question ‘How much should I have saved for retirement?’, 1 out of 3 calculated that they will need at least $1 million. It was more than 34% of the respondents. In comparison, 1 out of 4 workers felt the same way in 2016.

The rest of the respondents felt they could make do with less than $1 million. In 2016, 9% believed they needed $750,000 to $1 million, compared to 14% in 2019. In 2016, 16% of workers calculated they need $500,000 to less than $750,000. 15% shared the same thoughts in 2019. The rest of the respondents calculated that they need less than $500,000.

But how many people have $1,000,000 in savings for retirement? Well, according to a report by United Income, 1 out of 6 retirees have $1 million.

17. For 69% of retirees, their personal savings or investments are a major source of income.

(Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute)

The majority of retirees rely on Social Security as a source of income. However, only 59% would call it a major source. It seems that most of the average American retirement income comes from personal savings and investments.

18. 8 out of 10 workers think they will need to work for income in retirement.

(Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute)

74% of workers think that working will be either a major or a minor source of income during retirement. Though while most believe they will need to work, only 28% of retirees actually do.

Workers also believe that they will retire at the age of 65. The median retirement age is 62. So, make sure you have sufficient retirement savings by age 62.

Nearly half of workers had to retire earlier than expected, or 4 out of 10. The main reasons for this were changes at the company they worked as, such as downsizing, or health problems and disabilities. Though there were some that retired simply because they could afford to.

19. 67% of workers are confident that they will be able to live comfortably in retirement.

(Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute)

While only 42% of workers have tried calculating how much money they will need in retirement, retirement savings statistics show that 67% are confident they will have enough money to live comfortably.

Maybe now is the time to check which states have the highest salaries.

20. 52% of Americans are behind on their retirement savings.

(Source: Bankrate)

According to a poll by Bankrate, 52% of Americans state they are behind on their retirement savings. Only 16% answered that they are right on track. Only 11% stated that they are ahead with their retirement savings.

Now, let’s look at the share of respondents behind the amount of retirement savings by age. 63% of Gen X-ers reported that they were behind. 54% of boomers and 48% of millennials feel the same way.

The common thing between most households that are behind on their savings is lower incomes. Those earning more than $80,000 mostly responded that they had enough in retirement savings.

How Much Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

So, we did learn quite a few things.

The median amount saved is $5,000.

A significant number of Americans have little to no savings at all.

It seems like it’s time for everyone to get back on track with their savings.

If you realized that you are part of the group with below-average savings and have no idea where to start, consider the following factors when building your retirement nest egg. The most important one is – how much money will you need exactly? The cost of living is different in each state, and living expenses vary by individuals.

Will you still be paying off your mortgage? Will your savings cover expected and unexpected health care expenses?

If retirement savings statistics make you doubtful about where you are with your retirement funds, remember that the next best time to start planning for your retirement is now.

Hopefully, we managed to give you a good sense of direction. Till next time!


After I got my degree in translation and interpreting, I started working in a typical office. To get away from my nine-to-five job, I ventured into freelance writing. One thing led to another, and I ended up creating content for SpendMeNot. I have been involved with this site ever since its launch — first as a writer and now as a content strategist. When not busy with publication planning, I like blogging. I just hate writing bios so that’s all from me, folks.

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