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Retirement Planning > Saving for Retirement

Here’s How Much Money Americans Think They’ll Need to Retire

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What You Need to Know

  • Fifty-six percent of respondents expect to have saved less than $500,000, including 36% who forecast less than $250,000 in savings.
  • Of participants 60 to 67 and nearing retirement, 54% reported that they will have less than $250,000 saved.
  • And 57% of retirees said they had less than $250,000 saved at retirement.

Most working Americans at some point in their careers think about how much money they will need to save for a comfortable retirement.

Results of a recent survey released Tuesday by Schroders show that participants think that on average, it will take $1.1 million to retire comfortably, but only 24% expect to reach the million-dollar mark in retirement savings.

Fifty-six percent of respondents said they expect to have saved less than $500,000, including 36% who forecast less than $250,000 in savings.

The research firm 8 Acre Perspective conducted the survey in February among 1,000 U.S. investors ages 45 to 75. The median household income for working Americans in the sample was $75,000.

In another recent study, Americans across the age spectrum said it would take an average of $774,000 to be financially comfortable today, and $2.2 million to be considered wealthy.

Fraught Retirement Prospects

For survey participants 60 to 67 years old and nearing retirement, 54% reported that they will have less than $250,000 saved, while 57% of retirees said they had less than $250,000 saved at retirement.

The numbers for near-retirees have only grown worse over the past year. In the 2021 survey, 26% said they had enough money to retire; this year, 22% said that.

Some people in this age group will be able to attain the retirement they want; others are hoping for luck to make their dream retirement come true, according to the survey. Thirty-five percent hope to win the lottery, 25% are willing to sacrifice what they want today to save for later years and 25% plan to stay on their current path.

Only 3% of retirees in the survey purported to be living their dream. Thirty-seven percent of retirees said they are comfortable, another 37% said their lives are so-so, 18% acknowledged they are struggling and 5% called their lives a nightmare.

Forty-four percent of retirees said their expenses are higher than they had expected, while just 8% said expenses are lower.

Retirement Concerns

The survey found that Americans have these concerns about retirement:

  • Inflation lessening asset values: 65%.
  • Higher-than-expected health care costs: 64%.
  • Major market downturn significantly reducing assets: 53%.
  • Health issue draining savings: 52%.
  • Taxes reducing retirement savings: 49%.
  • Unable to afford desired lifestyle: 49%.

Amid these concerns, 69% of working respondents said they plan to work in retirement, 56% to cover basic living expenses, 51% to stay busy and 49% to keep active and in good health.

“These are seriously challenging times, and they seem to be taking a toll on the American worker and their belief about achieving a comfortable retirement,” Joel Schiffman, head of intermediary distribution for North America at Schroders, said in a statement. 

“This year, inflation is the number one concern Americans have about their retirement, and next year, it may be something else. Challenges will come, but they can’t derail our focus on saving and preparing for our retirement.”