If you’re in your 40s, 50s or nearing your 60th birthday, you’re probably wondering: How much money should I have saved for retirement by age 60?
And according to the Federal Reserve, the average retirement account balance for Americans ages 55 to 64 in 2019, the latest year for which figures are available, was $408,420. Of course that’s a range, and it’s not the expert-recommended balance.
Below, we’ll get that expert take to help guide your savings strategy as you near your sixth decade.
What Experts Recommend to Have Saved for Retirement by Age 60
Even among experts, the recommended savings amount for a 60-year-old varies. Evan Potash, executive wealth management advisor at TIAA Wealth Management, says savings goals are highly variable and depend on a number of factors.
“When it comes to saving for retirement there is no magic number to hit by a certain age,” Potash says.
“The amount of savings needed to live comfortably in retirement is different for everyone. It comes down to your ability to save and when you begin saving for retirement. The sooner you start saving, the more time your investments will have to grow and compound,” he adds.
It’s good advice, but you want a number. Here’s what some of the biggest banks and investment firms in the country say you should have saved for retirement by age 60.
- Eight times your annual income should be set aside for retirement by the time you hit 60 years of age, according to Fidelity Investments. So if you currently earn $100,000 a year and are 60 years old, ideally you should have $800,000 in your retirement accounts, according to Fidelity.
- You should have 5.5 to 11 times your salary saved by age 60 to consider yourself on track for retirement, according to T. Rowe Price. So, if you earn $100,000 a year, ideally you have savings of $550,000 to $1.1 million in your retirement accounts by age 60.
- You should have 7.6 times your annual salary saved for retirement by age 60, according to Bank of America’s Financial Wellness Tracker. If you earn $100,000 a year, you’d want to have $760,000 in your retirement accounts.
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Are you thrilled to hear this or depressed?
If it’s the latter, you aren’t alone. According to the 2023 Planning & Progress Study by Northwestern Mutual, which surveyed 2,740 U.S. adults age 18 and older between February 13 and March 2, 2023, 48% of baby boomers who aren’t retired do not expect to be financially prepared for retirement when that day comes. It’s even worse for the next wave of retirees: Fifty-five percent of Generation Xers feel that they will not be ready for retirement.
If You’re Worried You Haven’t Saved Enough for Retirement
Wherever you are on the pleased-panic spectrum, here are a few suggestions if your savings at 60 fall short of these recommended goals.
- Talk to a financial professional. Schedule an appointment with a financial advisor or financial planner. “Financial planners can offer strategies tailored to your unique situation,” says Eliza Arnold, founder of Arnie, a 401(k) provider.
- Try to pay off your debts. Those will only weigh down your retirement. “Ideally, most debts, like mortgages, should be paid off or significantly reduced by 60,” Arnold says. In other words, get the debts paid off and your retirement income will go further.
- Move. Do you live where the cost of living is sky high? When you retire, maybe you should consider a cheaper locale. Arnold says: “Living in a city or state with a lower cost of living can stretch your retirement dollars.”
- Put more into your retirement fund. Take advantage of catch-up contributions. “Those aged 50 and above can contribute more to IRAs and 401(k)s,” Arnold says. For 2023, eligible workers can contribute an additional $7,500 to their 401(k) retirement savings plan at work for a total of $30,000. For an IRA, if you’re 50 or older, you can make a $1,000 catch-up contribution – on top of the standard $6,500 contribution limit – for a maximum of $7,500.
- Work longer. If you’re 60 and short on retirement funds, if possible you’ll want to work until you’re 70. If you delay taking your Social Security payouts until then, you’ll receive an 8% annual increase in the amount of those benefits from your full retirement age until age 70.
- Try not to be discouraged. You’ll also want to keep saving, even if you’ve fallen way short of your retirement goals. Some money saved is always going to be better than no money saved.