What Is the Average Retirement Savings by Age in the U.S.?

Investment 101

Published: August 22, 2022

retirement savings by age

Saving for your retirement isn’t always easy, but it’s essential. Although having every penny hit your bank account right now seems like the best option, you don’t want to turn 60 or 65 with zero retirement savings. Investing allows you to enjoy your retirement years, not work through them.

As a leading gold and silver IRA company, our main goal is to help you learn how to utilize your money wisely and save for retirement. One of the most common questions we get asked by our clients is “what is the average retirement savings for my age?”.  While there is no “right answer” per se, here is some useful information about the average retirement savings by age in the United States.

What Are the Average Retirement Savings by Age?

Many people are at a loss when understanding investment objectives, leading them to save too little for retirement accidentally. Gauging how much money you’ll need to live comfortably for decades without work is a head-scratcher that U.S. workers underestimate frequently. According to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, the current median retirement savings individuals in the United States have by age are as follows.

In Their 20s: $16,000

Saving $16,000 in your twenties is a great start. Retirement and saving for it is the furthest thought in a 20-year-old’s mind. We recommend using this time to consider your options and find the best opportunities for your needs. Saving for retirement in your 20s will set you up for success.

In Their 30s: $45,000

The median retirement savings for a person in their thirties is $45,000. This number might sound substantial, though if you make more than this figure per year, you should aim higher.

In Their 40s: $63,000

Saving $63,000 by age 40 is impressive but a number we recommend working to exceed.

In Their 50s: $117,000

The standard person in their 50s usually has approximately $117,000 saved for retirement. Some people make and spend this much money each year. Unless you’re incredibly frugal, living off this amount will be challenging.

In Their 60s: $172,000

If you retire in your 60s with $172,000, you’ll either have to get a part-time job or live an extremely affordable lifestyle. This amount will leave you with less than $10,000 per year for approximately 20 years, an arduous amount to sustain a comfortable lifestyle.

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How Much Should I Save on Average?

While those numbers above represented the median amount people currently have saved in their retirement savings account, let’s look at how much you should aim to save to live comfortably. You’ll notice below that the first few decades display averages are below the medians we shared above, though the numbers start skyrocketing once you hit your 40s.

According to the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) data for the average U.S. retirement savings by age, you should save the following amounts each decade of your life. Note that the lower end of the range is for the beginning of the decade while the upper number represents the later years.

By Their 20s: $4,745.25 to $9,408.51

In your twenties, you haven’t made much money. You’re likely fresh out of school with new bills, on your own for the first time, and finally seeing a full-time job’s paycheck. Without a lot of workplace experience, your first “adult” job probably won’t pay a ton, though compared to what you made as a teen, it feels like plenty.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to fly through each paycheck at this age. You may have student loans, new car payments, health insurance premiums, phone bills, rent, car insurance, and utilities. According to the Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, the average monthly student loan bill is $200 to $299.

You’ve never had to juggle this many bills before, so it can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re still trying to enjoy your young, fun life. Putting aside portions of your paycheck might feel impossible. Remember that it’s not too different from what you spend on television streaming service subscriptions or anything else you buy each month for fun.

The best part about building retirement savings in your 20s is how much time you have ahead. You’re in great shape if you’re still 40 years from retiring and already planning your future.

By Their 30s: $21,731.92 to $48,710.27

Finances only become more challenging as you age. People in their thirties still have to pay bills and debt, plus new ones. You might buy a house, get married, and have children, all of which come with their own hefty price tag.

Luckily, by this age, you likely have around five to eight years of work experience under your belt (depending on if or when you graduated from school and started work). More experience usually means better pay and benefits. You might even have a plush company policy that pays your health insurance and dental.

Many companies also offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Typically, these plans allow you to put aside a portion of your paycheck into an account you won’t have access to until you retire. The main benefit is that your employer might match a certain amount of your contribution, allowing you to save more money than you would if you kept it all in your bank account.

For example, if you put aside 2% of a $2,000 paycheck every two weeks, it would equal $40 that your employer might match to make $80. We recommend signing up for your workplace retirement plan as soon as you receive an offer.

By Their 40s: $101,899.22 to $148,950.14

In your forties, you’ve reached the prime years of your career. With decades of experience and a sharp mind, you’ll likely make more money now than at any other time in your life. With these funds, you might finish paying off your student debt, car loans, credit card payments, or other significant debts.

Unfortunately, with more money comes more responsibilities. If you had children in your thirties, their needs become significant— clothes, schooling, childcare, college tuition, cars, supplies, the list never seems to end. Rather than feeding one mouth, you become responsible for multiple.

Such expenses make it easy to blow through your increased pay. If you feel behind in your retirement savings or debt, it’s not too late. Considering the average retirement age, you still have a couple of decades to nourish your retirement fund and secure your future.

By Their 50s: $146,068.38 to $223,493.56

When you turn fifty, retirement transforms from a mystical pipe dream to a legitimate goal within arm’s reach. All the money you’ve saved for the past three decades is finally only a few years away. Motivation like this makes it much easier for people in their fifties to become savings experts, squirreling away every penny they can.

Many of your bills may come from your adult children by this age. You might pay for their college tuition, weddings, and insurance plans until they graduate and land a full-time job. Once you’re over the hump, you also might begin experiencing different medical issues that rack up excessive bills.

If you’re far behind the average numbers above when you turn fifty, don’t panic. You still have ten years to save as much as you can. We recommend ramping up your retirement contributions and considering different investment opportunities that offer better capital growth.

By Their 60s: $221,451.67 to $206,819.35

When you turn sixty, all your hard work is about to pay off. Some retire right at this age, though others work another five to ten years to secure their finances.

Now is your last chance to make money, so it’s essential to spend it wisely. If you can, we recommend allocating as much of your earnings toward your retirement savings as possible.

Savings Benchmarks

Saving for retirement is different for everyone. The numbers above depict averages, but everyone earns different salary levels. How much you need to save depends on your income, bills, and debts. If the numbers are too far out of reach or nowhere near what you think you’ll need, use the income calculations below to personalize your retirement savings plan.

20s: 1x Your Annual Salary

Throughout your twenties, you should aim to save an entire year of your salary. For example, if you made $40,000 per year throughout your twenties, you should aim to save $40,000 before turning thirty. You might think this number sounds like a lot, though it should only be a tenth of what you made during the entire decade.

30s: 2x Your Annual Salary

You should save twice your average salary by the end of your thirties. With an overwhelming amount of bills thrown at you as you enter the “real world,” most people don’t accomplish the goal above. Your thirties are your time to make up for it. Going with the same salary example, you would now need to save $80,000 by forty to stay on track.

40s: 3x – 4x Your Annual Salary

Now that you’re making more money, it’s time to contribute as much as possible to your retirement savings. Remember that if you make more, your goal numbers should increase. Most recommend having three to four times your annual salary by the end of this decade, which includes what you’ve already saved from above.

50s: 6x – 7x Your Annual Salary

At this point, you might feel like your retirement savings account has plenty, though you’d be surprised how much you need to live comfortably when no paychecks are deposited in your account every two weeks. Continue saving as you did in your forties to secure your future.

60s: 8 – 10x Your Annual Salary

Now that you’re on the last leg of the sprint, we recommend keeping as much money aside as possible. By now, you should have eight to ten times your annual salary from your entire life. Whatever this number is, it should support your lifestyle for a minimum of ten years, depending on how frugally you live.

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How To Save for Retirement

Now you know how much retirement savings you need, but how do you store these funds? Many federal government programs, financial institutions, and other options exist to optimize savings. We recommend considering one of multiple of the avenues below.


Many choose to invest their savings in stocks, precious metals, cryptocurrencies, properties, and more rather than storing them in an account. Some investments come with risks, though many of these offer steady appreciation rates. For example, investing in gold allows you to combat inflation and maintain the value of your money over many decades.


401(k)s are popular employer-sponsored retirement plans that allow you to contribute portions of your paycheck to a retirement fund that your employer will match. Such plans usually have contribution and matching limitations. Typically, you can roll these funds between employers if you change jobs, though you won’t have access to the money until you retire.

IRA Plans

Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are another popular option. You can open an IRA on your own at any time, without help from an employer. When doing so, you have a few types to choose between:

Roth IRA

A Roth IRA allows you to contribute taxed income to your account so that you don’t have to pay any fees when you’re ready to withdraw. You must have the account for five years and be older than 59.5 to begin making withdrawals. You won’t have to pay the income taxes when this time comes since the money you used to contribute already had taxes taken out.

Traditional IRA

Traditional IRAs are similar to Roth IRAs, though you don’t pay taxes ahead of time. You contribute your pre-tax income and then pay income tax when ready to withdraw.

Note that Roth and Traditional IRAs have contribution limitations, stopping you from saving over $6,000 per year if you’re under 50 or $7,000 per year if you’re over fifty. If you want to save more than this, you should consider a different kind of account or investment.

Contact Our Team at Noble Gold About Investing In A Gold & Silver IRA

With inflation rates on the rise, saving any money may seem impossible. At Noble Gold, our experts work with you to help make saving for retirement easy. Precious metal investments are a secure way to invest for your future and hedge against inflation. All you need is five minutes of your time for a lifetime of investment success.

Open a gold IRA or silver IRA with Noble Gold to diversify your investments, save on taxes, and add stability to your future. When you’re ready to maximize your retirement savings, our team of experts is standing by help! Call us today at (877) 646-5347 and begin planning for your future!


Investment 101
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