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American Retirement Savings by Age: Averages, Medians and Percentiles

Written by:
PK

Below are estimated United States retirement savings statistics by age for 2020, from surveys conducted between February 2019 and early 2020. You'll find the average retirement savings by age, along with median, and top 1% of savings.

For a fuller accounting of net worth as opposed to only savings for retirement, see our net worth by age research.

Retirement Savings Benchmarks by Age in 2020

The following chart summarizes retirement savings statistics by age. First, I use a strict definition of retirement savings – here think, 'retirement accounts' and any defined benefit plans which also have a cash value.

Retirement savings by age group in the United States, 2020

The next chart also includes summary statistics for a more expansive definition of retirement savings (defined in the methodology section).

Retirement savings (expansive definition) by age group in the United States, 2020

Although we also have retirement statistics aggregated across all US adults, in many ways age is a more appropriate screen for retirement savings. Depending on how old you are, you'll have different amounts of accumulated savings (and, let's face it, motivation to save).

Across Americans, the average retirement age is just shy of 60 years old (with a 62 year old median). And, yes, it makes sense for those older than retirement age to have savings. While some folks in each age bracket are still working, even retired individuals draw down their retirement over time.

Note: This data comes from the Federal Reserve's 2019 SCF. See the net worth research post for details on the survey and how I'm using it.

What are the median retirement savings by age?

In 2020, overall median retirement savings was $6,450.00 per household, expanding to $21,120.00 with the more permissive definition. Here are retirement savings medians per age:

Age GroupMedian Retirement SavingsAlternative Definition
18-24$0.00$1,010.00
25-29$0.00$3,100.00
30-34$2,000.00$10,700.00
35-39$2,500.00$11,000.00
40-44$6,950.00$22,000.00
45-49$10,000.00$23,580.00
50-54$10,000.00$24,000.00
55-59$15,000.00$31,000.00
60-64$2,000.00$32,550.00
65-69$0.00$28,000.00
70-74$0.00$40,000.00
75-79$0.00$32,500.00
80+$0.00$25,000.00

What are average retirement savings by age?

The overall average household retirement savings were $131,631.40 while a more permissive view of savings average came in at $282,554.50. Here are the average retirement savings per age group:

Age GroupAverage Retirement SavingsAlternative Definition
18-24$4,745.25$12,287.31
25-29$9,408.51$25,683.30
30-34$21,731.92$36,891.96
35-39$48,710.27$93,042.95
40-44$101,899.22$215,632.65
45-49$148,950.14$332,175.33
50-54$146,068.38$332,110.93
55-59$223,493.56$490,637.80
60-64$221,451.67$497,355.25
65-69$206,819.35$543,416.49
70-74$203,964.21$550,404.02
75-79$143,613.22$385,296.62
80+$128,216.59$446,432.66

What is the top 1% retirement savings by age?

Warning: be skeptical of top percentiles; net worth in general is ill-behaved. Consider numbers "in or around" the listed amount.

For overall households, the top 1% retirement savings was $1,770,500.00 while a more expansive definition of retirement savings came in at $4,436,800.00 for the top 1%.

Here are the top 1% retirement savings breakdowns by age:

Age GroupTop 1% Retirement SavingsAlternative Definition
18-24$101,000.00$193,060.00
25-29$93,000.00$298,700.00
30-34$204,100.00$392,301.00
35-39$500,000.00$1,462,010.00
40-44$1,097,000.00$2,144,180.00
45-49$1,794,000.00$4,388,000.00
50-54$1,624,000.00$6,158,800.00
55-59$2,583,000.00$6,921,000.00
60-64$2,520,000.00$7,285,000.00
65-69$2,683,000.00$9,300,000.00
70-74$2,739,000.00$7,870,000.00
75-79$2,300,000.00$7,540,000.00
80+$2,720,000.00$7,240,150.00

Tool: Compare Retirement Savings by Age

Looking for more data? I don't blame you – so here's every retirement savings percentile by age in 2020 in a retirement savings calculator.

Enter an age bracket, savings amount, and choose your definition of retirement savings and the tool will tell you the savings percentile.

Source for Retirement Savings by Age

Our data comes from the 2019 Federal Reserve SCF. The definition of strict retirement savings and expansive savings can be found in our retirement savings for adults post.

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