How Much Money Do I Need to Retire? (Infographic)
Planning for retirement can be intimidating. There are many different retirement plans and variables to think about that can influence your lifestyle after retiring. Putting enough money aside and saving for retirement is even more challenging.
We conducted thorough research to answer for you a deceivingly simple question: “How much money do I need to retire?”
But that is just one of the questions we’ve responded to in this post; others include:
- How long can you expect to enjoy retirement?
- How much does the average person need to retire?
- Will a million dollars last long enough?
- What are the new retirement savings targets experts recommend?
- How much money should you have saved by the time you turn 30, 40, 50, 60, and on the day you retire?
- What are the “multiply by 25 rule” and the “4% retirement rule?”
- What percentage of your salary should you set aside?
- How does the American nest egg reality compare to the recommendations?
- What are the actual retirement savings balances and contribution rates?
- What are the differences between 401(k), Roth 401(k), IRA, and Roth IRA retirement plans?
- What are the best places to retire in the US and overseas?
Yes, we’ve digested all of the above information and presented it in an easy-to-understand visual format—a stunning infographic that features 77 key retirement stats and facts. Let’s uncover some of the most critical retirement statistics you need to know, starting with the average retirement age in the USA. Please take a good look at the infographic, and keep scrolling to discover the essential information you need for a comfortable retirement!
What Is the Average Retirement Age in the US?
The average American retires at around 60 years of age (59.88). Currently, there are about 46.33 million retirees in the US. If we look at the most common age to retire, the retirement age statistics suggest that men usually retire at 64 and women at 62. Additionally, the most recent statistics show that roughly two-thirds of retirees stopped working between 57 and 66.
What is the Full Retirement Age (FRA)?
The FRA is the age at which a person becomes eligible to get the total amount of their social security benefits. However, the full retirement age isn’t the same for everyone, as it depends on your year of birth. It also varies from country to country. Therefore, make sure you do your research and consider the best places to retire on social security.
The minimum age for becoming eligible to receive social security benefits currently sits at 62 years of age in America. And that’s even though the ideal retirement age for most Americans is 66. In fact, the statistics show that 90% of Americans retire at the age of 66, which currently is the minimum FRA.
When Can I Retire?
Providing you’ve worked for at least ten years, you become eligible for social security. In this case, the earliest you’ll start receiving benefits is at 62. However, to get the benefits, you must collect 40 work credits. You get retirement savings credit by paying social security taxes, and the maximum number of credits you can get per year is four.
According to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) standards, if you retire before 62, you’ll get less money than you would had you retired at the FRA. Taking this into account, think carefully about when to retire. The goal isn’t just to retire but to retire comfortably when you’re eligible for the full retirement benefits.
How the SSA Calculates Benefits
Your monthly payment depends on three factors:
- your average earnings during your work years
- how long you’ve worked
- when you started collecting benefits
You can begin receiving them before, at, or after reaching your FRA. All of these factors should be taken into consideration before retirement.
How Much Money Do You Need to Retire Comfortably?
For a long time, $1 million was considered the amount required to retire comfortably. However, depending on the state you live in, that amount can last for a different period.
What is the best state to retire in? If you live and work in Mississippi, we have some excellent news for you. According to the latest data, this sum will last for 23 years, two months, and two days in Mississippi. So it may be the best state to retire in.
Apart from Mississippi, other states where your dollar will last for at least 22 years are Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New Mexico. So, when you wonder which ones are the best states to retire, now you have the answer.
In contrast to a million’s longevity in these states, the numbers are pretty different in Hawaii. And that’s although three Hawaiian islands are considered among the best places to retire. On average, your dollar will last ten years and three months in Hawaii.
So, What Are the New Retirement Savings Goals?
Taking how long your dollar will last in different states out of the equation, we have some other retirement savings targets.
According to Fortune, you’ll need 60% of your pre-tax income. Sources such as Nerdwallet and CNBC claim that you’ll need 70% of your pre-tax income, whereas the Motley Fool further increases retirement savings targets to 80% of your pre-tax income.
When it comes to actual sums, both AARP and the Retirement Living Information Center put the retirement savings target between $1 million and $1.5 million. Furthermore, AARP suggests that your savings goal can also be equal to 10–12 times your current pay.
Money estimates that the amount you’ll need to retire is 11 times higher than your final pay. Fidelity Investments has an even more detailed estimate, suggesting you’ll need ten times your final salary at the age of 67.
If you want to discover the exact numbers you’ll need to retire comfortably, use a retirement savings calculator. This tool will help you learn how much money you’ll have once you retire based on various factors. Some of these factors are your annual savings, at what age you plan on retiring, etc.
Retirement Savings Factors
When using the best retirement calculator, it’s essential to adjust two values. They are the age at which you plan on retiring and the lifestyle you want to lead.
When it comes to your normal retirement age, you can set this value between 62 and 70. Providing you want to retire at 67, and you’re currently 30 years old, your savings should be equal to ten times your salary at 67. So, starting retirement savings at 30 is an option for you. In this instance, you should also opt for an average lifestyle or the same lifestyle you’re currently leading.
You could also choose to spend around 15% less upon retirement than you’re currently spending. This lifestyle change would decrease your retirement savings to eight times your salary at 67. Why not be wise and take every opportunity you can to save?
In contrast, choosing an “above the average” lifestyle—i.e., spending 15% more than you’re currently spending—your average retirement savings by age increases. This increase would translate to 12 times your salary at 67 years of age.
The Multiply by 25 Rule
Another way to use the “how much money do I need to retire calculator” is to multiply your desired yearly income by 25. Let’s say you wanted your annual income to be $70,000. If you multiply that by 25, you’ll get $1.75 million, which is how much money you’ll need to retire.
The 4% Rule
Apart from the multiply by 25 rule, there’s also something called the 4% rule. This rule doesn’t focus on how much to save for retirement. Instead, it gives you an estimate of how much money you should withdraw from your retirement savings fund.
As you might have guessed, according to this rule, you should withdraw 4% of your retirement savings in the first year of retirement. After that, your withdrawals should stay at 4%, but they should be inflation-adjusted.
If we take the same example, where you’d gather $1.75 million with an annual income of $70,000, during your first year of retirement, you should withdraw $70,000. According to the 4% rule, you should be able to withdraw $70,000 plus the rate of inflation for 25 years.
The multiply by 25 and 4% rules give a rough answer to the question “how much money do you need to retire?” Additionally, they help you determine how much money you should withdraw each year. However, these rules exclude social security benefits and any other retirement savings. Plus, these rules have been tested, and they work in most situations, but not always.
When talking about retirement, it’s impossible to leave out time, i.e., how long your retirement savings should last. If we look at US workers only, the average life expectancy is 77.8 years. So when calculating average retirement savings, retirees should adjust their savings based on the average life expectancy.
Life Expectancy by State
Hawaii leads the race with the highest life expectancy at 81 years. Trailing behind Hawaii is California (80.8 years). New York and Minnesota rank third with an average lifetime of 80.5 years. Other states that found a place at the top of the list include Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, Colorado, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
The conclusion we can draw from these numbers is that the answer to the question “how much should I save for retirement?” varies from state to state. For example, West Virginia has the shortest life expectancy at 74.4 years, while Hawaii’s residents live seven years longer on average.
Life Expectancy Worldwide
The average lifespan worldwide is currently 72 years. Women live four years and four months longer than men, with women’s average life expectancy being 74.2 and men’s 69.8.
Hong Kong ranks first when it comes to longevity worldwide. The people there typically live for 85.29 years. Spain, which also happens to be one of the best places to retire in the world, has a life expectancy just a touch lower. And that’s at 83.99 years. Moreover, this country is also listed as one of the best countries to retire for US citizens.
In sharp contrast, the Central African Republic has the shortest life span of 54.36 years. Ironically, the national mandatory retirement age in the Central African Republic is 60 years.
What You Need to Know About Retirement Plans
The 401(k) is the most popular retirement plan among Americans. As much as 78% of US workers have chosen it as their primary savings method. According to 401(k) guidelines, you should set aside at least 10% of your gross earnings into your retirement fund. Ideally, however, you should reserve 15% or more of your gross earnings.
To simplify things and get a rough estimate, you can use a 401(k) retirement calculator to see how your savings will increase based on your monthly contribution, retirement age, rate of return, and so on.
What Do Real-Life Numbers Say?
If you can set aside 15% or more of your gross income, that’s excellent news. However, alarming statistics show that 42% of Americans have less than $10,000 in their retirement savings. Furthermore, a third of them don’t have any savings for their retirement, while only over a quarter of Americans starts saving for retirement in their 30s.
What Is the Average 401(k) Balance in the US?
How much money do I need to retire early? This is one of the most common questions among US workers. However, the real question should be whether retiring early is even a possibility. As for early retirement age, any age before 65, when you become eligible for Medicare benefits, is considered early retirement.
The average 401(k) balance in the US is $102,900, and the average contribution is 6.2%. What happens when we compare these numbers to the recommended savings, i.e., 15% or more of your gross income? Well, it becomes clear that there’s an imbalance in what you should do and what’s financially possible.
Average 401(k) Contributions in America by Age
When it comes to retirement savings by age, those in the 20–29 age range have both the lowest 401(k) balance and the lowest contribution rates. The average savings in this age group stand at $11,500, with an average contribution rate of 6.8%.
The retirement savings contribution rates in the 30–39 age group are slightly higher (7.6%). However, their 401(k) balance is nearly four times higher than those from the 20–29 group ($42,700). Nevertheless, the numbers show that it won’t be typical for these groups to retire early.
Next, the average contribution rate for the 40–49 age group is 8.4%, while their 401(k) balance stands at $103,500. Lastly, the highest retirement savings and contribution rates are recorded among the 50–59 and 60–69 age groups. Their contribution rates stand at 10% and 11.1%, respectively. When it comes to retirement savings, workers from the 50–59 age group gathered $174,200 on average, while the 60–69 group has slightly higher savings at $198,200.
The Rule of 55 is an IRS policy that permits you to take money out of your 401(k) or 403(b) account without paying the penalty if you’re 55 or older. So, that’s also considered 401(k) retirement age.
Types of Retirement Plans
There are four main retirement plans: traditional 401(k) and Roth 401(k) plans, and traditional IRA and Roth IRA plans. If you diversify your savings portfolio, you might change your answer to the question: “how much money do I need to retire?” The fact is, you’re under no obligation to use a single savings plan, and you can have both a 401(k) and an IRA. Here’s what you should know about each of these plans.
Traditional 401(k) vs. Roth 401(k) vs. Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA
Both traditional and Roth 401(k) plans are set up by an employer, while with IRA plans, an individual sets it up. With each of these plans, it’s handy to use a retirement income calculator to check your savings progress.
The contributions with Roth 401(k) and Roth IRA are post-tax. When it comes to traditional 401(K) plans, the retirement savings contributions are pre-tax. Conversely, with a traditional IRA, your contributions are deductible and can be both pre-tax and post-tax.
The traditional version of 401(k) and IRA distributions are taxed as ordinary income. As far as Roth savings plans go, the distributions aren’t taxable.
The distribution age is the same for all four types of savings accounts—at 59.5 years or in the case of the account owner becoming disabled. Additionally, Roth plans have an extra clause: the account must have been open for a minimum of five years.
While discussing the “how much do I need to retire?” topic, we can’t leave out the free money often available with a 401(k) plan. Namely, some employers offer to match your contributions. This is usually 50% and up to 100% of your contribution and can be as high as 6% of your annual gross salary.
In most cases, you need to stay with a company for several years until your employer’s match money becomes yours. In contrast, contributions aren’t possible with IRA plans. Still, if you’re trying to figure out how to retire early, take advantage of an employer match if you can.
The contribution limits with traditional and Roth 401(k) plans go up to $19,000 for workers under 50 and up to $25,000 for those older than 50. Your contribution will be significantly lower with IRA plans, at $6,000 when you’re 49 or younger and $7,000 after that. Only a Roth IRA doesn’t have a forced distribution age. However, IRA plans don’t support loans, unlike 401(k) plans.
Choose a Plan That Works Best for You
As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to each of the four plans we’ve talked about. It doesn’t matter whether you want a retire-early lifestyle or just enjoy your retirement without financial worries. No matter what, you’ll want to explore each of these plans in detail to find out which of them will be of the greatest benefit to you.
So, How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?
As we’ve already established, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and you shouldn’t only focus on the actual sum you need to retire but on how to earn it. If you take a long-term approach toward retirement preparations, the chances are high you’ll meet your retirement income target.
One of the first things you should do is to write down your retirement plan. Next, estimate your expenses, calculate and be able to answer: “How long will my retirement savings last?” Don’t forget to include inflation in the final equation. If you aren’t satisfied with your retirement income, you should consider adding another source of income sooner rather than later.
Additionally, you can move to a state that has low taxes. Taking healthcare costs, tax rates, and quality into account, Laredo, Texas, stands out as the best place to retire in the US. We hope our article helped make it easier for you to decide where to spend your golden years.
How much money do I need to retire at 40?
We’ll calculate this using the multiply by 25 and 4% rules. Let’s say your desired retirement income is $50,000. Multiply that by 25, and you’ll get $1.25 million. This is the amount you need to retire even in the cheapest places to retire in the US, provided you can set aside $1.25 million by the age of 40. Your annual withdrawal rate should be 4% of the total sum (adjusted for inflation).
The same equation answers the question: “how much money do I need to retire at 65?” However, finding out how much you need for retirement is the easy part. The tricky part is actually saving that much money. That’s why retirement preparation is essential.
Can I retire at 60 with 500K?
The 4% rule specifies that if you retire with $500k in assets, you should be able to withdraw $20,000 per year for a 30-year (or longer) retirement. That also covers your answer to: “How long will 500K last in retirement?” Therefore, if you retire at 60, your money should last you until you’re 90.
How much money do you need to retire comfortably at age 55?
According to some experts, you should expect to live on a minimum of 65%–75% of your present salary in retirement, but ideally, you should plan to live on 80%. So, having no retirement savings at 55 is a bad idea.
By the time you retire, you may require 10–12 times your present yearly wage saved, according to these standards. At the age of 55, experts recommend having at least seven times your annual salary, so starting retirement savings at 55 is a little bit too late. If you respect the rule of having at least seven times your annual salary saved and earn $55,000 per year, you should have $385,000 set aside for retirement.
What is the average 401(k) balance for a 65-year-old?
One of the most common financial vehicles used by Americans to save for retirement is the 401(k) plan. The 401(k) is an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan that allows you to save for retirement while minimizing your tax liability. For a 65-year-old person and older, the average 401(k) balance is $216,720.
What is the average retirement nest egg?
According to the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances, all families should have an average retirement savings of $255,130. Moreover, the median family’s retirement savings is $65,000. After all, age is only one element in determining how much you should save for retirement, and not everyone will retire at the same time.
What is a good amount of money to retire with?
According to most experts, your retirement income should be around 80% of your pre-retirement earnings. That means that if you earn $100,000 per year in retirement, you’ll need at least $80,000 per year to maintain a comfortable living once you’ve retired. So keep this answer in mind next time you ask yourself: “how much money do I need to retire?”