Retirement savings will grow during accumulation, while the investor is still working and saving. After the investor retires, they will switch to decumulation and begin to use their retirement savings as income so the savings amount will begin to decrease. Many people want to know the average retirement savings amount by age to see whether they are on track for a successful retirement. This guide can help investors figure out the average retirement savings amount and how to prepare for retirement.
What Is the Average Retirement Savings?
The average retirement savings takes into consideration all retirement savings in the U.S. and finds the middle amount. This changes based on the age of the investor because it takes time to build savings. Below is a table showing the average retirement savings by age.
The Difference Between Mean and Median Retirement Savings
The above table shows the average, or mean, retirement savings. But it’s beneficial to look at the mean and median retirement savings when planning retirement.
Mean Retirement Savings
The mean retirement saving is found by taking the average of all retirement savings accounts. It is found with this equation:
(sum of all retirement accounts surveyed)/(number of all retirement accounts surveyed)
The mean retirement savings in the U.S. is about $141,542. The mean retirement income for Americans older than 65 is $73,288.
Median Retirement Savings
When considering retirement savings in America, many professionals and investors choose to also look at the median. The ultra-rich can skew averages higher than what might accurately portray the average Americans retirement savings. The median is the number in the exact middle of a list of retirement savings accounts, ranked from lowest to highest. This number is typically much lower than the mean and might be a more accurate projection. Here are the median retirement savings by age.
|Median Retirement Savings
As displayed in this chart, the median retirement savings is much lower than the mean retirement savings. The median retirement income is also lower, at $47,357, compared to the mean of $73,288.
Understanding the Numbers
These mean and median numbers aren’t a set rule of where investors need to be by a certain age. Instead, they should be used as guidelines.
There are also many other factors that influence retirement savings, including gender, education and net worth. These numbers are useful guidelines but won’t be the exact number for every person. Use a retirement calculator for a more customized retirement savings goal and projection.
Retiring As a Couple
Whether you retire as a part of a couple or as a single person will affect your financial situation. Depending on the couple, both partners may have retirement savings accounts they can take distributions from. This can help make retirement savings last longer because the couple will probably split the cost of living. Some couples may have merged their retirement savings accounts to earn more interest on their savings.
Taxes on retirement income will also be different for couples. There’s a different income tax bracket for couples, and that tax bracket will apply to federal taxes taken on retirement income. The couple’s joint income will determine their bracket.
Additionally, marriage can affect Social Security benefits. Each retiree can receive their own benefits, or one retiree can claim their spouse on their own account. This spousal benefit will not be more than 50% of the account owner’s primary insurance amount. It is best to speak with a financial adviser or use a calculator to determine which is the best way to maximize Social Security.
If you’re retiring single, you’ll manage all your own accounts. You’ll apply for your own Social Security, determine your own distribution amount based on your retirement savings and pay for your own expenses. Your retirement income tax amount will be based solely on your retirement income.
A single person may retire with less money than a couple who has been saving jointly, but they will also have fewer expenses. They will only need to pay for one person’s healthcare, food and clothing. It may be a bit more straightforward to plan, though they may get charged more taxes.
Using A Retirement Savings Calculator
Using a retirement calculator is the best way to determine how much you’ll need for a successful retirement, based on your lifestyle, and how much you need to save to achieve that. Many calculators available online can help identify retirement incomes based on savings, how much savings you’ll need and what age you can retire. To use one of the calculators, investors might need to know their projected retirement savings amount, their target retirement age or their income.
Another good way to determine retirement income is to use a Social Security retirement age chart. The longer you wait to take Social Security benefits, the more you’re likely to receive. By looking at an age chart, you’ll be able to see how much more you could receive if you wait a few years.
Are You On Track to Retire On Time?
Whether you're 55, 40 or 25, it’s never too early to plan for the future. By starting to save for retirement early, you’re more likely to achieve a successful retirement. Looking at the average retirement savings by age can help you determine whether you’re on track as you age and move closer toward retirement, though it won’t give you an exact projection.
For more personalized assistance with retirement savings, talk to a financial adviser or use a retirement savings platform. It’s never too late or too early to begin planning, and it may be enough to give you a secure retirement.
Frequently Asked Questions
What percentage of retirees have $1 million?
The majority of retirees have far less than $1 million saved for retirement. It may be considered the standard, but is not a reality for most retirees.
What is the average net worth of a retiring American?
The average retirement savings for a retiring American is $141,542. Net worth may be higher, depending on whether they have assets such as real estate, cars and other investment portfolios.