Average Retirement Savings by Age

by Andy Hough on June 10, 2008

Everyone knows that it’s important to save for the future and everyone has played with the fun little retirement calculators that tell you how much you need and by when. However, what most people don’t talk about is how well you’re doing versus everyone else in your age group. It’s not about competition, it’s about knowing where you stand so you can make smart decisions.

***Note-These stats are from 2008. Click here to see the 2012 retirement savings by age.

Here’s how retirement savings breakdown by age group:

25 – 34

70% saved less than $25k, 12% were between $25k-$50k, 9% were between $50k-$100k, 5% were between $100k-$250k, and 4% were above $250k.

35 – 44

50% saved less than $25k, 15% were between $25k-$50k, 14% were between $50k-$100k, 10% were between $100k-$250k, and 10% were above $250k.

45 – 54

41% saved less than $25k, 14% were between $25k-$50k, 13% were between $50k-$100k, 17% were between $100k-$250k, and 16% were above $250k.

55+

39% saved less than $25k, 12% were between $25k-$50k, 7% were between $50k-$100k, 23% were between $100k-$250k, and 19% were above $250k.

All (Combined)

52% saved less than $25k, 13% were between $25k-$50k, 11% were between $50k-$100k, 12% were between $100k-$250k, and 11% were above $250k.

{ 18 comments }

Jim June 12, 2008 at 11:34 am

This opened my eyes a bit! I’m in pretty good shape, but I know a lot of people (friends and family) who are need of this wake-up call. I’ll definitely forward this on to them.

One question – where do these statistics come from?

Thanks for the info!

Dave June 27, 2008 at 12:34 pm

A lot of people are in trouble when it comes to planning for retirement. It doesn’t help that two tools that used to play a crucial role in planning for retirement, Social Security and pensions, aren’t a reliable source of money these days. We are mostly on our own when it comes to retirement savings. Workplace retirement savings programs can be a big help, but half of Americans don’t have access to them. That’s why AARP supports the use of automatic IRAs in the worlkplace, an idea that Congressman Neal of Massachussetts has also backed. The Congressman’s views of the plan can be found on AARP’s blog ShAARP Session.

Jill Foster September 10, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Thanks for collecting these stats.

Rhetorical question: how would those 52% who saved $25k or less endure? I wonder what other factors may be involved with those particular situations i.e. they live near family or in a small community with a paid-for home or rely on part-time or full-time employment. Whew that’s a sobering stat.

me September 1, 2009 at 2:55 am

By July 4th, 2008 at 5PM, a bottle of beer cost $100 billion Zimbabwean dollars, but an hour later, the price had gone up to $150 billion; the Los Angeles Times further reported on July 15th, 2008 that the printing presses were running out of paper to print the money, and it was feared that because of human rights concerns, Germany would cut off the supply of paper and the software license for creating designs for even higher denominations of currency. [26] On July 16, the official inflation rate was reported by Zimbabwe’s central bank as 2.2 million percent.[27]

so when its 150 billion dollars for a coke what do i do? save my money? or try something different?

sfd April 6, 2010 at 12:00 am

As a 58 year old I thought I was at best only marginally prepared for retirement. Now that I see these stats I feel better about my relative position, (in the top 19%)but alarmed at the state of most of my peers. Can this be accurate? Don’t most people have some kind of 401k from work that would at least bring them up to the $100k level by 55? I have had a moderate income throughout my work life, never making more than 55k a year, have not been an aggressive saver, and simply let my 401k savings accumulate. I don’t get it.

Jack January 27, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Wow….all this time I thought my wife and I were in trouble with not having saved enough. Are these numbers for real? My wife and I are both 53 and our retirement accounts (401k’s, IRA’s, etc) are currently valued at just over $500,000. Our salaries fortunately have been very good over the years (neither of us makes over 6 figures) but we saved regularly, and our employers have percentage matches into our accounts.

Jeff February 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Wow, It looks like I am kicking butt. $550,000 at 37

Jeff February 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm

39 years old as of 4 days ago and have been blessed to accumulate $305,000. Must admit I am a bit obsessive over my retirement and run the projections all the time. Just hope I live long enough to enjoy my golden years.

Valerie March 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Thank you for the information. It makes me feel very good about my account balance as I see fall within the top 5%.

Age 32 with a balance a lil’ over $115,000.

I’m a single female who started putting away %15 when I made $7.50/hr at age 19. When I got older (late 20′s), I decreased it to as low as 2% for many years because of real estate investments I acquired. Mind you, I have never (and still don’t) made over $50,000/yr. All the real estate tanked on me, and now all I have is one house and my retirement savings.

It pays to start early and remain disciplined about paying yourself first. BEST WISHES, EVERYONE!

Punchyballs March 16, 2011 at 9:16 am

Notice how there aren’t any comments from people admitting they have less than $25K. People who have less than that tend to not even look into things like this. If you have the wherewithall to even google this page, then I’m sure you’re fine in terms of savings.

NextGeneration March 28, 2011 at 10:52 am

“so when its 150 billion dollars for a coke what do i do? save my money? or try something different?”

I would definitely switch to pepsi at that point.

Shane April 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

@PunchyBalls

I feel that you are right. Most people with low or no balances for retirement don’t even think about how well they are doing. It will hit them one day. Most likely two late though.

Shane April 14, 2011 at 10:58 am

At 23, I have $12k saved. I feel like I’m ahead of the curve, but still not comfortable with my savings.

James Ward April 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

Anyone who maximized their retirement savings when the began to work in their 20′s should have well over $500K by the time they are 50. But don’t be dishartened if you are not one of those. Someone at age 50 earning less than 60K, and with no savings can have over $800K before 65 by maximizing a 401K and IRA (or Roth IRA) with low risk investing. I outline this in the book, WEALTH VIRTUES.

Derek S. November 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Hey Derek,

Here is one of those retirement articles I ran accross. Fairly interesting on stats although it was from 2008. Stats are probably worse now in 2011, but I goes to show you what you said about the savings rate of the younger.

K

Derek S. November 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Take a look at the comments too.

James April 20, 2012 at 4:14 am

It looks like my wife and I are doing quite well compared to these numbers! I am 31 and she is 28. We currently have $215k in savings and an additional $200-$210k in property that we own free and clear. Fortunately we have ZERO debt as well, giving us a net worth of approx. $400-$420K.

Kevin July 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Wow, what a bunch of blowhards. Who cares how much money you have? People with real net worth never announce it in a public forum.

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