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Retirement funding: How much do you need to save?

US adults estimate they’ll need $583,348 to retire comfortably.

How much money do you need to have saved to retire comfortably? While this number will vary from person to person based on what they want to do in retirement, the average amount American adults believe they’ll need saved to fund their retirement is $583,348, according to the latest survey by Finder.

How much do you need to retire?

However, how much people believe they’ll need to live comfortably varies widely. Close to half of those surveyed (47.4%) said that they would need less than $250,000 in the bank to be comfortable. About 16% said they’d need more than $250,000 but less than $500,000. 17% said they would need more than $1 million to retire comfortably.

How much do Americans think they need to retire?

Estimated amount to retire comfortably% of respondents
Less than $250k47.4%
$250k – $500k15.7%
$500k – $750k8.5%
$750k – $1 million11.1%
More than $1 million17.3%

Men believe they need more to retire than women

American men were shown to be slightly better retirement savers, squirreling away an average of $175,795 compared to $139,010 for women.

Average retirement savings: Men and women

GenderHow much do you have saved?How much will you need?
Men$175,795$643,097
Women$139,010$528,721

How much you think you’ll need in retirement differs depending on when you’re born, with millennials believing they will need to save the most at $721,845. They’re closely followed by gen X at $626,344. The silent gen brings up the rear at $377,928, followed by baby boomers at $484,390.

However, while millennials think they’ll need the most money to retire comfortably, they’re well shy of their retirement goals. That may come with an empathic “duh” since they’ve been saving for fewer years than the older generations. Millennials have managed to amass an average of $73,368 for retirement. Boomers, actually, have the second most money saved for retirement, with an average holding of $246,108, with the silent gen coming out with the highest retirement savings at $247,125.

Median savings are even lower, with millennials having saved a median of $12,047 for retirement. In comparison, baby boomers have saved a median of $100,012 for retirement.

Retirement savings by generation

Average amounts

GenerationHow much do you have saved?How much will you need?
Gen Z$34,270$552,049
Millennials$73,368$721,845
Gen X$146,056$626,344
Baby Boomers$246,108$484,390
Silent Gen$247,125$377,928

Median amounts

GenerationHow much do you have saved?How much will you need?
Gen Z$2,295$270,217
Millennials$12,047$392,129
Gen X$42,666$284,439
Baby Boomers$100,012$287,179
Silent Gen$64,803$129,607

Americans underestimating retirement funding needs.

While an amount of just over half a million dollars is a lot to squirrel away, it may not cut it. The average American lives until roughly 78 years old, and if you’re looking at retiring at 63, that means that roughly $583K will need to last 15 years. That means you’ll be living off about $38.9K per year, which is roughly 57% of the average median household income in the US.

If you’re confused about retirement planning or just want to know more about techniques for funding your retirement, you can find out more on the Finder retirement planning hub.

A third say the need more than $1 million to retire

How much do you think you ll need to have saved to retire comfortably?

Response% of Americans
Less than $250k20%
$750k - $999K14%
$500k - $749k16%
$5 million +4%
$4 - $4.99 million1%
$3 - $3.99 million2%
$250k - $499k19%
$2 - $2.99 million4.38%
$1.5 - $1.99 million6.20%
$1 - $1.49 million14.46%
Source: Finder survey by Qualtrics of 2,033 Americans

Roughly a third (31%) say they will require a retirement balance of at least $1 million for them to retire comfortably.

Methodology

Finder’s data is based on an online survey of 2,059 US adults born between 1928 and 2003 commissioned by Finder and conducted by Pureprofile in April 2021. Participants were paid volunteers.

We assume the participants in our survey represent the US population of 254.7 million Americans who are at least 18 years old according to the July 2019 US Census Bureau estimate. This assumption is made at the 95% confidence level with a 2.16% margin of error.

The survey asked respondents how much they think they’ll need to retire comfortably, assuming they retire at 63 years old. Then we asked respondents how much they currently have saved for retirement.

To avoid skewing the data, we did not include extreme outliers in our calculations. Our calculations were weighted for age and gender.

We define generations by birth year according to the Pew Research Center’s generational guidelines:

Gen Z — 1997–2003
Millennials — 1981–1996
Gen X — 1965–1980
Baby boomers — 1946–1964
Silent generation — 1928–1945

Past Retirement Savings surveys

Richard Laycock headshot

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Richard Laycock, Insights editor and senior content marketing manager

E: uspr@finder.com

/in/richardlaycock/ /aleksvee/

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Written by

Richard Laycock

Richard Laycock is Finder’s NYC-based senior content marketing manager & insights editor, spending the last decade data diving, writing and editing articles about all things personal finance. His musings can be found across the web including on NASDAQ, MoneyMag, Yahoo Finance and Travel Weekly. Richard studied Media at Macquarie University, including a semester abroad at The Missouri School of Journalism (MIZZOU). See full profile

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