What Is the Average Retirement Savings by Age? - NerdWallet (2024)

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The desire to know how you're doing in relation to your peers is natural, and it may help kick-start more progress or give you a feeling of satisfaction.

While knowing the average retirement savings by age can give you something to compare with, keep in mind that it isn’t the best measure of how on track you are for retirement. Knowing your financial goals and estimating how much you’ll need for your ideal retirement are the best ways to identify and stay on track with your money goals.

» Learn more: See additional Retirement account statistics

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Average retirement savings balance by age

Based on data from the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances — the most recent version of that survey — the median retirement savings for all families is $87,000. The average retirement savings by age is:

Age group

Average retirement savings balance amount

Under 35

$49,130

35-44

$141,520

45-54

$313,220

55-64

$537,560

65-74

$609,230

Source: Federal Reserve Board

Median retirement savings balance by age

A little fine print: Because averages can be heavily skewed by outliers — in other words, the savings of over- and underachievers in each group — we’ve also included median balances in the breakdown below.

The median can often provide a more representative number than the average, and you’ll notice that the median numbers are quite a bit lower than the averages. (All data is from the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances, unless otherwise noted.)

It’s also worth noting that both figures include only those who have retirement holdings — there are many people of all ages who do not.

A 2023 NerdWallet study found that 60% of Americans don’t have a retirement-specific account.

Age group

Median retirement savings balance amount

Under 35

$18,880

35-44

$45,000

45-54

$115,000

55-64

$185,000

65-74

$200,000

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Retirement savings by age

Under 35

  • Average household retirement savings: $49,130

  • Median household retirement savings: $18,880

In the Survey of Consumer Finances, 50% of families headed by someone under age 35 had retirement accounts — meant here to include IRAs, Keoghs and certain employer-sponsored accounts such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s and thrift savings accounts.

Of the families in this age group who have retirement holdings, the average value of those holdings is $49,130, and the median value is $18,880.

» Dive into this article about how much to save for retirement

Ages 35 to 44

  • Average household retirement savings: $141,520

  • Median household retirement savings: $45,000

Nearly 62% of households headed by someone of this age range had retirement accounts, according to the data.

The average and median values of this group’s retirement holdings are significantly higher than those under age 35. To further increase retirement savings, while juggling other financial priorities such as childcare, living expenses, and more, an IRA can be a great way to do it.

» Learn how to open an IRA

Ages 45 to 54

  • Average household retirement savings: $313,220

  • Median household retirement savings: $115,000

About 62% of households headed by someone between the ages of 45 and 54 have retirement holdings, according to the survey.

Ages 55 to 64

  • Average household retirement savings: $537,560

  • Median household retirement savings: $185,000

This age range is close to the Social Security’s definition of full retirement age (Ranges from 65 to 67, depending on your year of birth). About 57% of households headed by a baby boomer have retirement holdings.

Ages 65 to 74

  • Average household retirement savings: $609,230

  • Median household retirement savings: $200,000

The bulk of these households include someone who is in retirement, or is of retirement age. According to this survey, 51% of this age group have retirement accounts.

After this point, average and median retirement account values begin to fall, as does the percentage of people who have retirement accounts. For households headed by someone age 75 or older, the median value of retirement holdings is 130,000, with an average holding of $462,410.

What is the average and median retirement savings?

The average retirement savings for all families is $333,940 according to the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances.

Taken on their own, those numbers aren’t incredibly helpful. There are a variety of decent retirement savings benchmarks out there, but how much money other people have isn’t one of them.

After all, age is just one factor in how much you should save for retirement — and not everyone who is the same age will retire at the same time.

But retirement savings balances do tend to increase with age, partly due to factors such as increased earnings over the years, compound interest, and more. (If you've been struggling to fund retirement accounts, our guide on how to save money may help.)

» Check out our retirement planning guide if you need to rework your game plan

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What Is the Average Retirement Savings by Age? - NerdWallet (5)

The bottom line

The headline here: Most people aren’t saving enough for retirement and are entering retirement with too little stashed away.

According a 2023 Fidelity report, Americans on average have saved only 78% of the amount they'll need in retirement, and 52% of U.S. households may not be able to pay for essential expenses in retirement.

That’s just one reason why the average retirement savings isn’t a benchmark. If you use these numbers as your guiding star, you’ll likely be in the same state as most of the country: unprepared for retirement.

How much you should have saved, and how much you should be saving, have nothing to do with where others your age stand. It has everything to do with your income, planned retirement spending, expected retirement age and life expectancy.

If you want to find out how much you personally will need to retire, a retirement calculator can help. And if that calculator tells you you’re behind? An IRA is a good place to start catching up, and if you have more concerns about your retirement progress, a financial advisor or robo-advisor can help.

» Find the best IRA account for you

What Is the Average Retirement Savings by Age? - NerdWallet (2024)

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