The Average American Couple Has Saved This Much Money For Retirement — How Do You Compare?

Retirement, ideally a period of relaxation and enjoyment after years of hard work, is often envisioned as a time to pursue hobbies, travel or simply unwind. Finding a fiduciary financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 financial advisors that serve your area in minutes.

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But for many, this phase of life is marred by financial worries, transforming what should be a golden era into a source of dread. A recent study from Zety sheds light on this growing concern, revealing that 40% of Americans fear retirement more than death, primarily because of financial insecurities.

This fear is more acute among married couples, who face the added complexity of planning for two people with varying financial needs. A NerdWallet study, using the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances, underscores this challenge, indicating that 60% of Americans lack a retirement-specific account. The disparity in average household retirement savings by age group further illustrates this issue:

Under 35: $49,130 (median: $18,880)

Ages 35 to 44: $141,520 (median: $45,000)

Ages 45 to 54: $313,220 (median: $115,000)

Ages 55 to 64: $537,560 (median: $185,000)

Ages 65 to 74: $609,230 (median: $200,000)

These figures show a significant gap between the average and median savings, pointing to a broad spectrum of financial preparedness across different age groups.

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To guide couples in their retirement planning, T. Rowe Price provides savings benchmarks as multiples of income, varying by household income and marital status. For example, a dual-income married couple with an annual income of $75,000 at age 55 should have retirement savings equal to five times their income, which should increase to 8.5 times by age 65. In contrast, a sole earner at the same income level should aim for 4.5 times their income at age 55, increasing to seven times by age 65. These benchmarks scale up for higher-income brackets.

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To address these concerns, financial advisers are key. They offer personalized guidance, helping couples create comprehensive retirement plans based on their unique financial situations and goals. For those anxious about their retirement funds, several practical solutions exist:

  • Increase savings rate: Even small increments in savings can yield significant long-term benefits.
  • Maximize retirement accounts: Use employer-sponsored plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to their fullest potential.
  • Reduce debt: Lowering high-interest debt frees up resources for retirement savings.
  • Delay Social Security: Postponing benefits can lead to higher monthly payments.
  • Diversify investments: A balanced mix of assets can optimize returns and mitigate risks.
  • Create a budget: Tracking expenses helps identify savings opportunities.
  • Consider working longer: Additional working years can boost retirement income and savings.
  • Review and adjust regularly: Keeping retirement plans up to date ensures alignment with changing financial circumstances.

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