22 Retirement Savings Statistics: How Do You Compare to the Average?

According to most retirement savings statistics, saving for retirement is something a lot of people put on the backburner. Until it is too late, that is.

For some people, the reason is that they are simply living paycheck to paycheck, so 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.

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:

Retirement Savings Stats and Facts (Editor’s Pick)

  • The median retirement savings are $65,000.
  • The median retirement savings for people aged 55–64 are $120,000.
  • The average amount of retirement income for households aged 60–64 is $100,842.
  • 40% of workers estimate they will need at least $1 million for retirement.
  • Households aged 65–74 have a net worth of $1,217,700 at retirement.
  • 68% of workers think they will need to work for income in retirement.

Average Retirement Savings Statistics

The stats below show us 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 $255,200.

(Source: Federal Reserve)

This is a 5% increase over three years from 2016 to 2019. When you consider the growing cost of living and the fact most retirees don’t work, this presents a bleak picture.

In addition, the US income inequality is pretty high and extremely wealthy households increase the average. A better indicator of how much Americans have saved up is the median amount.

2. The median retirement savings are $65,000.

(Source: Federal Reserve)

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 by the number of people. The median is the amount that is smack in the middle of the total savings. Or, to put it simply, the median amount represents how much the majority of people have in savings. It mitigates the potentially distorting effect either extreme can have on the result.

3. 22% of Americans have less than $5,000 in retirement savings.

(Source: Northwestern Mutual)

Northwestern Mutual’s annual study — Planning & Progress Study, includes some interesting retirement savings statistics. Its 2019 study shows that 22% of Americans have less than $5,000 saved up for retirement.

This appears to be a declining trend. In 2018, 31% of Americans had less than $5,000 in retirement savings, while 21% of the respondents that year had no savings at all.

4. The average retirement savings of people aged 35–44 are $51,000.

(Source: Center for Retirement Research)

People from this age range are either older millennials or young Gen X-ers. They have over $50,000 in retirement savings (median value). In addition, they have lower than average savings as they have entered the workforce later and haven’t had the chance to accumulate sufficient savings just yet. Finally, they have other financial priorities, such as buying a home.

If we take a closer look at the average retirement savings by age, we will find that older generations will have saved up more money.

5. People aged 45–54 have retirement savings of $90,000.

(Source: Center for Retirement Research)

Gen X-ers have had more time to put some money aside for their retirement. They’ve amassed almost 80% more in retirement savings than the previous age group. The average retirement nestegg definitely increases with age.

6. The median retirement savings for people aged 55-64 are $120,000.

(Source: Center for Retirement Research)

Baby Boomers and older Gen X-ers have accumulated by far the greatest amount of money for retirement. Their median retirement savings are almost as high as the previous two age groups combined. This is understandable as they’re either near or over the average retirement age which is 62 in the United States.

Average American Retirement Income Statistics

What is the average and median retirement income for Americans? Let’s find out!

7. Households aged 55–59 have a mean retirement income of $118,061.

(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 $81,512. We should also note that the amount is linked to households, not individuals.

8. The average amount of retirement income for households aged 60–64 is $100,842.

(Source: New Retirement)

The median for households aged 60–64 is $70,031 — an even lower amount compared to the previous age group. As for the average retiree income, it was calculated to be $100,842.

9. Households aged 65–69 have a mean income of $88,291.

(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 $88,291. The median, however, is significantly lower — $60,324.

10. Households Aged 70–74 have a retirement income averaging at $79,344.

(Source: New Retirement)

The average American retirement income for those aged 70–74 is $79,344. The median is $53,327. 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.

11. The mean retirement income for households older than 75 is $58,644.

(Source: New Retirement)

The median income for those older than 75 is $37,335. This amount is more than two times lower than that of households aged 55–59.

So.

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

The answer is complicated. Some retirees continue working, many joining the gig economy. 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.

12. Households aged 55–64 have an average net worth of $1,175,900 at retirement.

(Source: Federal Reserve)

Households aged 55–64 have a significantly higher net worth than households aged 45–54. The former have a median net worth of $212,5, whereas the latter have a net worth of $168,500.

13. The average net worth at retirement for households aged 65–74 is $1,217,700.

(Source: Federal Reserve)

Households aged 65–74 have the highest net worth of all households. Well above the national average of $748,800.

14. Households aged 75 and above have a net worth of $977,600 at retirement.

(Source: Federal Reserve)

There’s a significant dip when it comes to this age category. The oldest baby boomers have probably spent most of their retirement funds but are still left with more than people aged 45–54 — $833,200.

Americans and Their Thoughts on Retirement

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

16. Four out of ten workers estimate they will need at least $1 million for retirement.

(Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute)

The 2020  Annual Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that 48% of 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?’, 39% of those who tried calculated that they will need at least $1 million, joining the ranks of US millionaires. In comparison, one out of three workers felt the same way in 2019 and one in four in 2016.

The rest of the respondents felt they could make do with less than $1 million. In 2019, 14% believed they needed $750,000 to $1 million, compared to 15% in 2020. In 2019 15% of workers calculated they need $500,000 to less than $750,000, while 13% shared the same thoughts in 2020. The remaining 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, one out of six retirees have $1 million.

16. For 66% 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. This is followed by personal retirement savings or investments and a defined benefit or a pension plan. It seems that most of the average American retirement income is expected to come from a variety of sources.

17. Seven in ten workers think they will need to work for income in retirement.

(Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute)

68% of workers think that working will be either a major or a minor source of income during retirement. This is contrasted with current retirees, only 23% of which believe they’ll have to work to supplement their retirement income.

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 that age.

Nearly half of workers had to retire earlier than expected. Reasons cited were changes at the company they worked for, such as downsizing, or health problems and disabilities. Though most retired simply because they could afford to.

18. 44% of workers are very confident that they will be able to live comfortably in retirement.

(Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute)

While 48% of workers have tried calculating how much money they will need in retirement, retirement savings statistics show that 89% are very confident or somewhat confident they will have enough money to live comfortably.

19. 64% of Americans are behind on their retirement savings.

(Source: Federal Reserve)

According to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, almost two-thirds of Americans are behind on their retirement savings. 73% have any retirement savings at all, and just over a third (36%) answered that they are on track or ahead.

20. Almost half of the people over 60 are confident they’re prepared for retirement.

(Source: Federal Reserve)

If we take a closer look at retirement savings by age, older generations seem to be better off. Around 48% of people over 60 state that they’re ready for retirement while only 28% of people aged 18–29 believe the same.

21. Just over one in five Hispanic households are on track with their retirement savings.

(Source: Federal Reserve)

White and Asian households seem to have the best handle on their retirement financials, with 42% and 47% being on track, respectively. Just over a fifth of Black and Hispanic people (23% and 22%, respectively) believe the same.

22. 44% of working Americans are worried they’ll never be able to retire.

(Source: SimplyWise)

Americans not yet claiming social security are concerned they won’t be able to retire because the benefits will simply dry up. This fear is at an all-time high, and it’s greatest with Americans in their 50s — 58%.

How Much Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

So, we did learn quite a few things.

The median amount saved is $65,000.

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!

ABOUT AUTHOR

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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