One of the most common questions when people hear I am a financial planner is some version of “Do you think I am on track for retirement?” The reality is most people could be saving more, but keep reading as we share the average retirement savings by age. Hopefully, this will give you a sense that you are on track or need to ramp up your savings for retirement.
What Is The Average Retirement Savings By Age?
If you are trying to see if you are on track for a secure retirement, you may wonder how much others your age have socked away. While I would love everyone to (eventually) become a 401(k) millionaire, many people need to save more and invest wisely enough to reach this big financial milestone.
Here are some numbers from Fidelity Investments showing the average 401(k) balance by age range.
-Age 20-29 Average 401(k) Balance $12,800
-Age 30-39 Average 401(k) Balance $43,100
-Age 40-49 Average 401(k) Balance $100,300
-Age 50-59 Average 401(k) Balance $175,400
I will point out that these are just averages. Even if your 401(k) balance is above these numbers, if your income is also above average, you may still be behind when it comes to reaching financial freedom and a secure retirement.
What Is The Median Retirement Savings By Age?
High and low savers can heavily skew average retirement savings. Some higher-income folks or super savers are likely bringing up the averages. On the flip side, quite a few people probably have an old 401(k) with just a few dollars in it, dragging down the averages. The median is the balance at which half of people have more and half have less saved in a 401(k).
-Age 20-29 Median 401(k) Balance $4,600
-Age 30-39 Median 401(k) Balance $16,200
-Age 40-49 Median 401(k) Balance $32,100
-Age 50-59 Median 401(k) Balance $53,400
As a retirement planner, it is scary to see how much lower the median 401(k) balance is than the average 401(k) balance.
What Is The Recommended Retirement Savings By Age?
The recommended retirement savings will depend on three main factors: your age, when you want to retire, and your income. Other things to consider are how much you will receive from Social Security, how much you will need/want to spend in retirement, as well as other sources of income.
Keep reading as we share some target retirement savings recommendations by age.
What Is The Average Retirement Savings For Married Couples By Age?
Married couples have some advantages and disadvantages when it comes to retirement planning. On the plus side, many expenses are similar, whether living alone or with a spouse. On the other hand, the odds are much higher that at least one-half of a couple will need long-term care.
All the same, the rules of thumb below can be used for singles or couples. However, if one spouse doesn’t work, these could underestimate the ideal amounts of retirement savings by age for married couples.
How Much Should I Have For Retirement By 30?
How much you should have saved for retirement by age 30 is related to how much you earn. You should strive to have at least one year of salary saved for retirement by the time you reach age 30. The median salary for people aged 25 to 34 is around $55,000. Ideally, you would be at least at this number, especially if your income is higher.
How Much Should I Have For Retirement By 40?
Four times your annual salary is the target for people who reach the ripe old age of 40. For example, if you earn $100,000, you should have at least $400,000 in your retirement account by age 40. If you are behind, now is the time to supercharge your 401(k) contributions.
How Much Should I Have For Retirement By 50?
If you are pushing 50, you should have around 7 times your salary in retirement accounts. From the average and median retirement account numbers listed above, quite a few people need to catch up when it comes to hitting this retirement account target. Age 50 seems to be when many people get serious about making work an option.
There is some good news for those 50 and older who need to supercharge their retirement savings: 401(k) contribution limits increase at age 50. For 2023, you can contribute an extra $7,500 via a catch-up contribution to your 401(k). This contribution amount is on top of the $22,500 regular 401(k) contribution limit. This total jumps to $73,500 for some self-employed business owners.
How Much Should I Have For Retirement By 60?
To stay on pace for your dream retirement or maintain your standard of living as you age, you should have at least 11 times your salary by age 60. More if you want to retire earlier than age 67.
The numbers above are just retirement-planning benchmarks. How much you need to retire will depend on your lifestyle and debt levels (if any). If you have paid off your mortgage and/or have a large pension, you will need to generate less income from your other retirement accounts to get by. On the other hand, if you love getting a new car every two years and are renting your apartment, none of those expenses are likely to drop much once you leave the workforce. They will likely continue to rise over time. That means you will need more money to maintain your standard of living in retirement.
The important thing is to get started if for no other reason than to lower your tax bill by opening a retirement account. Be sure to get every penny of your employer’s matching contribution. This is like free money from your boss. Becoming a 401(k) Millionaire is actually easier than it sounds.