Retirement Savings by Age: How Do You Compare?

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Retirement Savings
By Laura Shin

You asked us
how much people had saved in their retirement accounts by age, and now, thanks to a nationwide survey by LearnVest and Chase Blueprint, we have answers.

We asked survey respondents how much they had saved in traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Roth IRAs, 401(k)s and pensions. (Wondering which account is right for you? Check out this flow chart.) As you would expect, the older people get, the more they have saved. All the figures below apply only to women. (Find out why saving for retirement is more difficult for women.)

Ages 25-32

In this age group, savings was greatly clustered toward the lower ranges: 72% of all respondents 25-32 had $49,999 or less saved for retirement. The median amount saved in this age group was $12,000.

Retirement savings of $5,000 or less was the most common answer, with 26% of women in this age group in this bucket. Other than that, this age group was pretty evenly spread out in terms of savings up to $50,000:
  • 15% had $5,000 to $9,999 saved
  • another 15% had $10,000 to $24,999 saved
  • and 16% had $25,000 to $49,999 saved

But still, respectable fractions had even more saved, with 7% having retirement savings in the $50,000 to $99,999 range, and 8% in the $100,000 to $249,999 range. The remaining 12% did not know how much they had saved or preferred not to say.

RELATED: The Top 5 Financial Regrets and How to Avoid Them

Ages 33-44

This age group tended to have savings in the middle ranges, with 62% of respondents in this age group having savings of between $10,000 and $249,999. The median amount saved was $61,000.
  • The largest percentage of respondents in this age group (17%) had $50,000 to $99,999 saved, and the second-highest retirement savings range was $10,000 to $24,999, with 15% of this age group coming in there.
  • Respondents of this age range were unlikely to have low savings -- just 6% had less than $5,000 saved, and only 7% had $5,000 to $9,999 saved.
  • And a decent chunk -- 15% -- had between a quarter million and half a million saved, with 1% even having more than a million saved.
However, 17% did not know how much they had or preferred not to say.

RELATED: Retirement, Savings or Debt? How to Prioritize Your Financial Goals

Ages 45-54

Among 45- to 54-year-olds, the majority (56%) had savings of between $25,000 to $499,999. The median saved in this age range was $101,000.
  • A full fifth of respondents in this age group had $100,000 to $249,999 saved for retirement, making this the top answer for people of these ages.
  • But, unfortunately, a slightly smaller percentage had more than half a million saved than in the 33 to 44 age group: 6% in this age group have over half a million while 8% in the lower age group have that much.
  • Also, 15% still have savings of $24,999 or less, which indicates they need to focus heavily on saving until they retire.

Almost a quarter (23%) said they did not know or preferred to not reveal how much they have in retirement.

RELATED: What We Can Learn From Would-Be Retirees

Want to dissect the results for yourself? Check out our chart.


Amount Saved Ages 25-32 Ages 33-44 Ages 45-54
Less than $5,000 26% 6% 6%
$5,000 to $9,999 15% 7% 5%
$10,000 to $24,999 15% 15% 4%
$25,000 to $49,999 16% 9% 10%
$50,000 to $99,999 7% 17% 13%
$100,000 to $249,999 8% 13% 20%
$250,000 to $499,999 1% 8% 13%
$500,000 to $999,999 0% 7% 3%
More than $1,000,000 0% 1% 3%
Don't know/Prefer not to say 12% 17% 23%
Average $37,000 $157,000 $219,000
Median $12,000 $61,000 $101,000
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31 Comments

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Gabby Chen

Because I am still 30 years away, I am focused on my savings, and I am determined not to be left uncomfortable in my golden years. I also am not moving to South Dakota just to survive. I want relaxing beach weather! Florida, Hawaii, or SoCal for me. Hopefully I take care of everything (savings-wise) so I don't have to live way up in frigid Montana when I retire.

After a thorough review earlier this year, these are the best tricks I found for putting away money, for my personal situation anyway.

1. I now max out my match for my 401K by putting away the maximum amount (5% for me) that my employer will pay into the plan as a match. It is free money and I was dumb not to do it before.

2. I found my biggest expense was driving. I cut that expense in half by buying a used Honda Civic ($13k), got a dirt cheap insurance policy from 4AutoInsuranceQuote ($25/month), and started using the Waze and GasBuddy apps to save on gas (cut my gas bill in half).

3. I'm working on developing multiple revenue streams. Some ideas I have - Do contract work. Start a business on the side. Invest in a business as a silent partner. Build websites. Buy and sell antiques. Acquire rental property. Sell something that generates residual income. Learn to play the currency markets or trade stocks. Basically do whatever I can to generate income from multiple sources.

4.I cut wayy back on eating out. I am having a year of putting away money hard, and food was a huge portion of my budget. I save about an extra $100 a week now easily, and eat healthier and better. Ditto if you spend a lot of money in bars.

If I plan on having a full savings account and retirement I have to make good decisions.

October 16 2014 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alleycat14.allan

My wife and I are 69 and are still saving as we find that our pensions and Social Security provide more income than we need. The trick was to stay employed with ths same company (both of us) for all of our careers. Yes, we both worked at the same place for over 35 years and lived below our means all of the time, not buying cars every three or four years, living in less house than we could afford and investing what others would normally have spent on stuff that ends up wearing out or being thrown away.

February 21 2013 at 5:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sonjarajkovich

"All the figures below apply only to women." What in the world? What kind of survey is this?

The Federal Reserve Board does a study of the financial health of American households every three years. Those numbers are considered the most reliable . . . and they look worse than these.

The most important "savings account" right now is your health, and anything you can do to preserve it and promote it. Count on working into your 70s, at least part-time. If I can, I want to. But what about those who can't? That could mean me as well.

November 15 2012 at 6:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mk4199

The market has tanked since the day after the election. I wonder how skewed these numbers would look in the next couple of weeks? Post Fiscal Cliff? Its a constantly changing number and I believe the numbers look worse today than when they were originally surveyed......

November 14 2012 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mk4199's comment
MONTOOTH

As you know, both the market's performance and this survey, are nothing more than a snapshot. Who cares if the markets go up and down. Over my 20 years of investing, I've made money in bonds and stocks. I came through all the bubbles, the booms and the busts, and still made money. I retired at 58 and I'm fine. Folks should not look to the market's ups and downs. Now is a time to add quality companies to your portfolio at attractive prices. That said, most folks should just choose a good total mkt index stock and bond fund, and call it day. They will make money.

November 14 2012 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chuck

Are these number for individuals or couples? If I'm 54 and retirering with my wife should we have twice the number that's listed...?

November 14 2012 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mrsskcs

Don't worry. Be Happy! The goverment will take care of you. Right!!!

November 14 2012 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bigwave48

Continued wars will erode our economy ... you ever ask yourself why we have bases all over the world.. some of
which are completely useless to national defense... we spend 800 billion on defense.. with advanced technology
we could use half that.... the GOP want to add 2 trillion to the defense over the next ten years... That was the
Romney plan.... Eisenhower's speech in 1968 predicted we would be overrun by the size of the Military complex.
Its just as bad as our entitlement programs... . the propaganda will be... these are programs we can't live
without... the truth be said,, they are killing us...

November 14 2012 at 5:56 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Linda

Why stop at 54?? Retirement age isnt until 62-65, higher if Obama has his way. I'm 62 and I am watching my retiremwnr go down the toilet because Obama was re elected.

November 14 2012 at 5:41 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Linda's comment
ss1591

I didn't know that Obama was a financial planner, what company is he with? You comment sounds just as bad as mine did, try balancing your investment amounts into 3 groups insured bonds, blur chip stocks and about 25% in higher risk returns and start staying 5% more liquid each year until you reach your retirement number. If you can average a 7 percent return from now till 67 you can still double or most likely triple the amount you will have for retirement if you keep saving. No matter who the President is there are always good investments to be had. I have gone deep into rental properties and have been averaging 8% yearly returns on my investments and 4 to 10 percent appreciation (I bought a lot of foreclosures and some have gone up 50% in the last two years) between the income and appreciation you can make 15% returns without trying.

November 14 2012 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hello 'Kell

DUH Are we supposed to be dead after 54????

November 14 2012 at 5:30 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Gerry

It doesn't matter how much someone else has saved.

November 14 2012 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gerry's comment
sonjarajkovich

Of course it does. Money is always relative.

November 15 2012 at 6:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply