Here’s How Much Retirees Actually Have in Savings (Hint: It’s Not Enough) (2024)

Gabrielle Olya

·3 min read

It’s long been a rule of thumb that you should have $1 million saved before you retire — and you may actually need to have close to double that in many cases.

See: 6 Types of Retirement Income That Aren’t Taxable
Related: 3 Ways To Recession-Proof Your Retirement

But most retirees have far less. A recent survey conducted by Clever found that, on average, retirees have just $170,726 saved for retirement. Here’s a closer look at the alarming financial state of retirees in America.

Many Retirees Believe They Will Outlive Their Savings

According to the survey, 48% of retirees believe they’ll outlive their savings entirely — which is not too surprising given how little many have saved for retirement.

In addition, 57% said they were surprised by how much money it takes to retire — the minimum recommended amount is roughly $555,000, or 10x the U.S. median income.

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Nearly 2 in 5 Retirees Have No Retirement Savings

The survey found that about 37% of retirees say they have no retirement savings, up from 30% in 2022, and only about 12% have at least the recommended $555,000 in savings.

The high percentages of retirees with little to nothing saved may have to do with factors beyond their control.

“We’ve certainly seen multiple health, environmental and financial crises surface in the last few years — all of which have increased financial strain on Americans,” said Taelor Candiloro, research analyst at Clever Real Estate. “There are also a plethora of social and economic variables that impact how Americans are able to accumulate wealth during their working years. All of these things collectively impact our ability to save for retirement — or our ability to retire at all for that matter — and could contribute to the lack of savings retirees are reportedly experiencing.”

Another factor could be the lack of access to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. Nearly half of retirees (47%) said that their company didn’t offer 401(k) plans or pensions.

Retirees Are Counting on Social Security Income To Make Ends Meet

Without retirement savings, retirees are dependent on other income streams to cover their everyday expenses. The most common source of retirement income among retirees is Social Security, with 79% of those surveyed citing it as a source of income. However, the average monthly Social Security payment is just $1,692, which likely is not enough for most retirees to cover their expenses.

“Retirees may be relying almost entirely on their Social Security payments, which can get precarious, especially since [71%] of retirees reported carrying debt through their retirement,” Candiloro said.

Nearly Three-Quarters of Retired Americans Have Non-Mortgage Debt

Because so many retirees have little to no savings, it’s not too surprising that the majority are carrying debt. The most common types of debt held by retirees are credit card debt (49%), mortgages (24%), car payments (20%) and medical bills (18%).

“Being in a financial situation where you’re required to allocate some of your monthly funds towards things like credit card payments can impact your savings long term and mean that your standard of living decreases once you retire,” Candiloro said. “[Fifty-five] percent of retirees reported spending less on travel after retiring, and [54%] said they spend less on dining out, while [27% of] retirees reported spending more on medical bills and health care.”

It’s Never Too Late To Build Retirement Savings

Most retirees said they have regrets about their savings, with 67% wishing they better understood retirement savings when they were working and 57% saying they waited too long to start saving for retirement. Although it may feel too late, it’s better for retirees to start investing in their retirement savings now than not investing at all.

“You can always invest, and every dollar counts,” Candiloro said. “If you’re already retired but want to boost your savings, building a relatively safe or mixed investment portfolio can help to build a reliable stream of income to contribute to your bills and expenses.”

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This article originally appeared on Here’s How Much Retirees Actually Have in Savings (Hint: It’s Not Enough)

Here’s How Much Retirees Actually Have in Savings (Hint: It’s Not Enough) (2024)


How much savings do most retirees have? ›

Median retirement savings balance by age
Age groupMedian retirement savings balance amount
1 more row
Mar 5, 2024

How many people have not saved enough for retirement? ›

In 2022, almost half of American households had no savings in retirement accounts, according to the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF).

What percentage of retirees have no retirement savings? ›

Nearly 2 in 5 Retirees Have No Retirement Savings

The survey found that about 37% of retirees say they have no retirement savings, up from 30% in 2022, and only about 12% have at least the recommended $555,000 in savings.

How many people have $1000000 in retirement savings? ›

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.

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

How much does the average 70-year-old have in savings? Just shy of $500,000, according to the Federal Reserve. The better question, however, may be whether that's enough for a 70-year-old to live on in retirement so that you can align your budget accordingly.

How much does the average 65 year old retiree have in savings? ›

The above chart shows that U.S. residents 35 and under have an average of $30,170 in retirement savings; those 35 to 44 have an average $131,950; those 45 to 54 have an average $254,720; those 55 to 64 have an average $408,420; those 65 to 74 have an average $426,070; and those over 70 have an average $357,920.

How many retirees have no money? ›

Certain retirees face a lack of savings more than others. Retired women are 33% more likely than men to struggle financially during retirement, the survey said. Approximately 28% of women have nothing saved for retirement, compared to 20% of men.

How many 60 year olds have nothing saved for retirement? ›

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, 50% of women and 47% of men between the ages of 55 and 66 have no retirement savings.

How many people over 65 have no savings? ›

The share of retirees with no savings jumped from 30 percent to 37 percent. Earlier generations of retirees counted on Social Security and employer-funded pensions to deliver a steady income. Social Security has dwindled as an income source over the years, and pensions are in decline.

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.

What happens if I retire with no savings? ›

Many retirees with little to no savings rely solely on Social Security as their main source of income. You can claim Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but your benefit amount will depend on when you start filing for the benefit. You get less than your full benefit if you file before your full retirement age.

How to retire at 65 with no savings? ›

If you retire with no money, you'll have to consider ways to create income to pay your living expenses. That might include applying for Social Security retirement benefits, getting a reverse mortgage if you own a home, or starting a side hustle or part-time job to generate a steady paycheck.

How much money does the average American retire with? ›

The Federal Reserve's most recent data reveals that the average American has $65,000 in retirement savings. By their retirement age, the average is estimated to be $255,200.

What is the average net worth of retirees in the US? ›

The most recent report released in September 2020 (using data collected in 2019) shows the median U.S. household net worth is $121,700 — but it's more than double that for people ages 65 to 74. According to the Fed data, the median net worth for Americans in their late 60s and early 70s is $266,400.

What is the average net worth of retirees? ›

Typical Net Worth at Retirement
Age RangeMedian Net WorthAverage Net Worth
Oct 5, 2023

How many Americans have $100000 in savings? ›

14% of Americans Have $100,000 Saved for Retirement

Most Americans are not saving enough for retirement. According to the survey, only 14% of Americans have $100,000 or more saved in their retirement accounts. In fact, about 78% of Americans have $50,000 or less saved for retirement.

What percentage of retirees have $2 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.

How much money should a retiree have in savings? ›

Key takeaways. Fidelity's guideline: Aim to save at least 1x your salary by 30, 3x by 40, 6x by 50, 8x by 60, and 10x by 67. Factors that will impact your personal savings goal include the age you plan to retire and the lifestyle you hope to have in retirement. If you're behind, don't fret.

What percentage of Americans have over $500000 in retirement savings? ›

Going up a little more, just 6% have between $100,001 and $200,000 saved. Few Americans have saved more than $300,000: 4% have between $350,001 and $500,000. 4% have saved between $500,001 and $750,000 and another 4%, have more than $750,000 saved.

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