On average, Americans have saved about $141,542 for retirement, according to the “How America Saves 2022” report prepared 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.
This means that half of the 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 more representative of what most people actually have saved in their 401[ads1](k) accounts.
Here’s a look at how much money Americans have saved for retirement, by age:
In addition to age, there are many other factors that affect pension savings, such as income and how long an employee has worked for a company. Older workers who have worked longer tend to have higher account balances than employees who have just started their careers, for example.
But try not to fixate solely on your exact balance. “If you focus too much on your account balance, you may be tempted to react to short-term volatility at the expense of your long-term financial goals,” says Nilay Gandhi, senior wealth advisor at Vanguard.
Instead, Gandhi encourages investors to focus on factors they can control, such as expenses, investment choices and their savings rate.
“We think participants need to reach a total savings rate of 12% to 15%,” including employer contributions, says John James, managing director of Vanguard’s institutional investors group.
Don’t panic if you’re not there yet – most investors aren’t.
Here is the average retirement savings rate for investors of all ages:
Gandhi acknowledges that reaching the recommended retirement savings rate of 12% to 15% can be daunting for employees, especially those just starting out.
It’s okay to start with what you can afford. But, “be sure to save at least enough to get your employer’s full match,” advises Gandhi.
From there, you can “increase your savings rate by 1% to 2% each year until you reach your goal savings rate of 12% to 15%.”
Vanguard offers a free retirement income calculator that anyone can use to calculate how much money they may need after they retire. The tool takes into account specific individual factors, including current age, expected retirement age, current income, savings rate, expected income needs in retirement and additional sources of income.
You can also check out CNBC Make It’s retirement planning tool, which can help you calculate how much money you’ll need to retire comfortably based on your age and income.
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