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  • Writer's pictureViolet Maile

Here's how much Americans have saved for retirement at every age

On average, Americans have around $141,542 saved up for retirement, according to the “How America Saves 2022” report compiled by Vanguard, an investment firm that represents more than 30 million investors.

However, most people likely have much less: The median 401(k) balance is just $35,345.

That means half of account balances are lower than this amount and half are higher. And since averages can be skewed by a few outliers, the median account balance is considered to be more representative of what most people actually have saved in their 401(k) accounts.

Here’s a look at how much money Americans have saved for retirement, by age:

Besides age, many other factors influence retirement savings, such as income and how long an employee has worked for a company. Older employees who have been working longer tend to have higher account balances than employees who are just beginning their careers, for example.

Average Retirement Savings by Age

First, it can’t be stressed enough that too many of us aren’t even saving for retirement. According to the Federal Reserve, one in four Americans have no retirement savings. Taking them and people who aren’t saving enough into account, the Employee Benefit Research Institute estimated the retirement savings deficit to be $3.68 trillion in early 2020. That means all U.S. households (with a head of household between the ages of 25 and 64) have a total $3.68 trillion less in savings than they should have for retirement.

As we stated earlier, research by the Federal Reserve found that the median retirement account balance in the U.S. – looking only at those who have retirement accounts – was just $65,000 in 2019 (the survey is conducted every three years). The conditional mean balance was $255,200.

Why Social Security Benefits Alone Won’t Be Enough to Retire On

For many Americans, Social Security benefits are the only source of income during their retirement. Social Security was never meant to be the sole source of retirement income, though. Retired workers average a monthly Social Security benefit of $1,624 as of July 2022. Add the rising debt levels among older Americans and you have a situation that’s a far cry from most people’s’ retirement dream of travel and leisure.

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