How Much Should You Have Saved By Age?

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Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you were doing well just to find that you were behind the curve? Maybe in school, you received a B or a C on a test, then find the class average was an A. Or at work you thought you were doing a great job only to have your boss say your work “needs improvement.” The same can happen with your savings when comparing it with people your age and where you ‘should’ be at.

It’s frustrating to find out when we are behind average but it’s helpful to know so changes can be made. In school, you can study harder. At work, you can look for help or for a mentor who can help you become more successful. When it comes to how much you should have saved by age, if you find you’re below average or behind what is deemed to be the target amount, don’t fret. You can evaluate your finances and look to a budget to find ways to try and save more.

Savings Goal By Age

Twenties (20-29)

  • Average 401k balance – $11,800 1
  • Retirement Balance Goal – the goal in your 20’s is to simply save as much as possible. The earlier you save the more time your funds have to compound earnings.

Thirties (30-39)

  • Average 401k balance – $42,400
  • Retirement Balance Goal
    • At 30 aim to have 1x your current annual salary
    • At 35 have 2x your current annual salary

Fourties (40-49)

  • Average 401k balance – $102,700
  • Retirement Balance Goal
    • At 40 the goal is to have 3x your salary
    • At 45 4x your salary

Fifties (50-59)

  • Average 401k balance – $174,100
  • Retirement Balance Goal
    • At 50 have 5x your salary
    • At 55 have 6x your salary

Sixties (60-69)

  • Average 401k balance – $195,500
  • Retirement Balance Goal
    • At 60 you should have 7x your salary
    • At 65 have 8x your salary

How The Numbers Play Out

Many people find it difficult or near impossible to have these amounts saved. It can be helpful to have a visual aid or something that shows how you can attain these goals. Here’s a calculator you can use to evaluate your individual situation.

The default in this sheet assumes you earn $60k a year, the average in the US. Other assumptions include BUT CAN BE ADJUSTED:

  • Age – 30
  • Current Retirement Balance – $5,000
  • Retirement Savings Monthly – $500
  • Retirement Age – 65
  • Rate of Return – 6%
  • % of Income at Retirement – 80%

Based on these inputs you would have an estimated 13 times your income or $752,973 at retirement. It doesn’t account for wage increases. It does assume your income needs in retirement increase by 3% per year due to inflation.

Hopefully, this helps alleviate concerns that you’re not within the “range” of savings based on your age. The longer you save, the harder your money works for you by compounding, and the quicker you ‘catch up.’

Paul W

Hello! I'm Paul, finance expert and founder of The Income Finder. With over 15 years experience in the finance industry, a bachelors from Benedictine University and MBA from DePaul, I'm well qualified and ready to share great insight and tips on money management. Read More