Can You Guess How Many Americans Actually Retire With a Million Bucks? (2024)

Can You Guess How Many Americans Actually Retire With a Million Bucks? (1)

Saving $1 million (or more) for retirement is a great goal to have. Putting that much aside could make it easier to live your preferred lifestyle when you retire, without having to worry about running short of money. However, not a huge percentage of retirees end up having that much money. In fact, statistically, around 10% of retirees have $1 million or more in savings. The majority of retirees, however, have far less saved. If you’re looking to be in the minority but aren’t sure how to get started on that savings goal, consider working with a financial advisor.

What Does the Average Retiree Have Saved?

The Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances tracks retirement savings data for different age groups in the U.S. According to the most recent survey that was completed in 2019, the average retirement savings by age breaks down like this:

  • $426,000 for those aged 65 to 74

  • $357,000 for those aged 75 and older

As you can see, those numbers are well below the $1 million mark. They represent how much the average person 65 and up have saved in retirement accounts, including 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

If you look at median figures, the numbers change even more. The median represents the middle number in a group of numbers. The Federal Reserve data shows that 65 to 74-year-olds have a median of $164,000 in their retirement accounts while those 75 and older have $83,000 saved for retirement.

These numbers are from 2019 and may not reflect any retirement gains (or losses) retirees have experienced in the last few years. The next Survey of Consumer Finances is set to be released sometime in 2023 and it may paint a very different picture of retiree savings with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and higher inflation factored in.

What Is the Average Retiree’s Net Worth?

Net worth is a measurement of your assets against your liabilities. A higher net worth indicates that you have more assets than debts and that’s a good thing when it comes to retirement.

In terms of the average retiree’s net worth, the Federal Reserve data puts it at approximately $1.2 million for those aged 65 to 74. The average net worth drops to $958,000 for those aged 75 and older. The data measures a variety of assets and debts, including:

If you’d like to calculate your own net worth, you’d simply add up all of your assets and subtract your debts. You can use that number as a guide for measuring your own net worth alongside other Americans in your age group.

Is $1 Million Enough for Retirement?

Financial experts have long advocated saving at least $1 million for retirement. Whether $1 million is enough can depend on:

  • Your desired retirement age

  • How long do you expect to live in retirement

  • Your preferred retirement lifestyle

  • What you expect to spend on basic living expenses and healthcare

  • When you plan to take Social Security benefits

For some retirees, $1 million may be more than enough to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Retirees who plan to relocate to another country, for example, may find that $1 million goes much further when it comes to paying for housing, utilities, food or health care. They might be able to retire on $500,000 instead.

On the other hand, $1 million may leave you with a savings gap if you would like to live a retirement lifestyle that includes plenty of travel, expensive hobbies or providing financial support to a child or grandchild. Health care can also take a big bite out of your savings if you have a chronic illness or you require long-term care at some point.

Long-term nursing care is generally not covered by Medicare. While you can apply for Medicaid to pay for long-term care, eligibility is determined by your assets. If your net worth is too high, you may have to spend down some of your assets before you can qualify. Purchasing long-term care insurance or a hybrid life insurance and long-term care policy can help you to prepare financially for that scenario.

If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

How to Save $1 Million for Retirement

If you’d like to save $1 million or more for retirement, you’ll need a clear plan to reach your goal. Planning starts with doing some math to determine how much you need to save monthly or yearly to reach your goal, based on when you plan to retire.

Say, for example, that you’re 30 years old. You’d like to retire at 65 with $1 million saved. You make $70,000 a year, pre-tax and are starting with $0 in savings. Assuming you’re investing and earning a 7% annual rate of return on average, you’d need to set aside 10% of your income each year. That also assumes you plan to live until age 95 and spend $2,900 a month in retirement.

If you’re saving 10% of your pretax income each year, that works out to $583 per month. Now, what if you’re starting at age 35 instead? In that case, you’d need to bump your savings rate to 15% of your income or $850 a month instead.

Using an online retirement savings calculator can help you work out how much you need to save to retire with $1 million. You can also try some of these tips to boost your savings total:

  • Enroll in your 401(k) if you haven’t already and aim to contribute at least enough to get your full employer match.

  • Increase your 401(k) annual contribution rate by the same amount as any annual raises you receive.

  • Max out your workplace retirement plan each year if possible and consider opening a solo 401(k) or SEP IRA if you’re self-employed.

  • Supplement savings with a traditional or Roth IRA and a Health Savings Account (HSA), if you have one available through your high-deductible health plan.

  • Take advantage of the Retirement Saver’s Credit if you’re eligible, which can free up more money that you can save.

  • Choose low-fee investments to maximize your returns and review the fees you’re paying in your 401(k) or IRA regularly.

  • Use found money, such as tax refunds or rebates, to add to your retirement savings.

  • Fine-tune your budget as much as possible and pay down debt so you have more money to save.

Those are just a few things you can do to increase your savings efforts if you’d like to retire with $1 million. What you decide to do should be unique to what your individual financial goals are and how much money you think you need for your goals. You may benefit from working with a professional who can outline what a plan looks like to hit your individual goals.

The Bottom Line

Can You Guess How Many Americans Actually Retire With a Million Bucks? (3)

The majority of retirees are not millionaires but it’s possible to reach $1 million in savings if you’re strategic in your approach. Getting an early start can be one of the best ways to reach your goal, as you’ll have more time to benefit from compounding interest. Comparing different investment options and understanding your risk tolerance is also essential if you’d like to achieve millionaire status by the time you retire.

Retirement Planning Tips

  • Consider talking to a financial advisor about whether retiring with $1 million is realistic or if you should be aiming for a different savings number. If you don’t have a financial advisor yet, finding one doesn’t have to be difficult. SmartAsset’s free tool matchesyou with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

  • If you expect Social Security benefits to be part of your retirement picture, it’s important to understand how much you might be able to collect. You can receive your full benefit amount when you retire at your normal retirement age, but it’s possible to take benefits as early as 62. Doing so, however, can shrink the amount you’re able to receive. On the other hand, you can increase your benefit amount by waiting until age 70 to apply. Deciding when to take Social Security benefits is another topic you may want to discuss with your financial advisor.

Photo credit: ©, ©*kada, ©

The post What Percentage of Retirees Have a Million Dollars? appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.

Can You Guess How Many Americans Actually Retire With a Million Bucks? (2024)


Can You Guess How Many Americans Actually Retire With a Million Bucks? ›

In fact, statistically, around 10% of retirees have $1 million or more in savings. The majority of retirees, however, have far less saved. If you're looking to be in the minority but aren't sure how to get started on that savings goal, consider working with a financial advisor.

What percentage of Americans retire with a million dollars? ›

According to EBRI estimates based on the latest Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances, 3.2% of retirees have over $1 million in their retirement accounts, while just 0.1% have $5 million or more.

Can you guess how many Americans successfully retire with $1000000 saved? ›

You may be surprised to learn that only 10% of retirees have over a million dollars in savings. Additionally, the average retirement savings by age: $426,000 for those aged 65 to 74. $357,000 for those aged 75 and older.

Can you really retire on $1 million dollars? ›

How long will $1 million in retirement savings last? In more than 20 U.S. states, a million-dollar nest egg can cover retirees' living expenses for at least 20 years, a new analysis shows. It's worth noting that most Americans are nowhere near having that much money socked away.

How much money does the average American have when they retire? ›

The average retirement savings for all families is $333,940 according to the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances.

How many retirees have $1 million? ›

Only a small fraction of retirees — around 8% to 10% — have successfully saved $1 million or more. This figure highlights the substantial challenges many face in reaching such a lofty savings goal, with the majority of retirees falling well short of this mark.

What is a high net worth retiree? ›

A high-net-worth individual (HWNI) is an individual who generally has liquid assets of at least $1 million after accounting for their liabilities. 1 The term HNWI is commonly used within the financial industry to identify individuals who need tailored financial and money management services.

How long will a million dollars last in retirement by state? ›

For retirees in California, the annual cost of living expenses would be $72,319.57, meaning a $1 million retirement fund would last for about 14 years. Retirement can often last 25 years or more, according to Fidelity.

Can you live off interest of 2 million dollars? ›

Not factoring in any additional income or money you need to set aside for taxes, this $2 million would provide you with an annual income of $40,000. This equates to a monthly income of $3,333. With the reduced expenses as detailed above, this amount could afford you a comfortable retirement lifestyle.

How much does the average 70 year old have in savings? ›

The Federal Reserve also measures median and mean (average) savings across other types of financial assets. According to the data, the average 70-year-old has approximately: $60,000 in transaction accounts (including checking and savings) $127,000 in certificate of deposit (CD) accounts.

What is the average 401k balance for a 65 year old? ›


Can I live off interest on a million dollars? ›

Historically, the stock market has an average annual rate of return between 10–12%. So if your $1 million is invested in good growth stock mutual funds, that means you could potentially live off of $100,000 to $120,000 each year without ever touching your one-million-dollar goose. But let's be even more conservative.

How long will $1 million in 401k last in retirement? ›

A recent analysis determined that a $1 million retirement nest egg may only last about 20 years depending on what state you live in. Based on this, if you retire at age 65 and live until you turn 84, $1 million will probably be enough retirement savings for you.

How many retirees have no savings? ›

Nearly 2 in 5 Retirees Have No Retirement Savings

“There are also a plethora of social and economic variables that impact how Americans are able to accumulate wealth during their working years.

What is the average Social Security check? ›

Social Security offers a monthly benefit check to many kinds of recipients. As of December 2023, the average check is $1,767.03, according to the Social Security Administration – but that amount can differ drastically depending on the type of recipient. In fact, retirees typically make more than the overall average.

How many Americans live paycheck to paycheck? ›

How Many Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck? A 2023 survey conducted by highlighted that 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, a 6% increase from the previous year. In other words, more than three-quarters of Americans struggle to save or invest after paying for their monthly expenses.

What percentage of US has net worth over 1 million? ›

Additionally, statistics show that the top 2% of the United States population has a net worth of about $2.4 million. On the other hand, the top 5% wealthiest Americans have a net worth of just over $1 million. Therefore, about 2% of the population possesses enough wealth to meet the current definition of being rich.

What percent of US citizens have 1 million dollars? ›

Top 2% wealth: The top 2% of Americans have a net worth of about $2.472 million, aligning closely with the surveyed perception of wealth. Top 5% wealth: The next tier, the top 5%, has a net worth of around $1.03 million. Top 10% wealth: The top 10% of the population has a net worth of approximately $854,900.

How many Americans have $1 million in cash? ›

Liquid assets: According to a report by Credit Suisse in 2021, there were approximately 21.4 million adults in the United States with a net worth of at least $1 million, including both liquid and non-liquid assets.

Do most people retire a millionaire? ›

One in six Americans retire a millionaire, but those savings didn't happen overnight. The key to saving for retirement is to start early and take advantage of compound interest (also known as interest on interest).

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Annamae Dooley

Last Updated:

Views: 6257

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Annamae Dooley

Birthday: 2001-07-26

Address: 9687 Tambra Meadow, Bradleyhaven, TN 53219

Phone: +9316045904039

Job: Future Coordinator

Hobby: Archery, Couponing, Poi, Kite flying, Knitting, Rappelling, Baseball

Introduction: My name is Annamae Dooley, I am a witty, quaint, lovely, clever, rich, sparkling, powerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.