If you’ve asked yourself, “How much money should I have saved by 50?” We’re here to tell you the answer!
Most Americans retire sometime in their mid or late 60s, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
This means if you’re approaching 50, you’re getting to the point where you should have a decent amount of savings to support yourself financially once you stop earning a regular paycheck.
But how much exactly should you have saved by 50? Taking stock of where you currently stand can help you plan with more intention based on your unique situation.
Below, we’ll address a common concern many individuals face as they approach their 50s: Am I on track to retire in my 60s—or ever?
- Start Early – The earlier you begin saving for retirement, the more time your investments have to grow. By age 50, you’re likely within two decades of your retirement. However, it’s never too late to make a difference in your financial future.
- Diverse Savings – Don’t rely solely on a single savings method. Diversify your investments, including retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, and real estate, to mitigate risk.
- Consider Debt Relief – If high-interest debts are impeding your ability to save for retirement, explore debt relief options like debt settlement and debt consolidation to regain financial control.
Factors to Consider When Saving for Retirement
When planning for retirement, it’s crucial to consider several factors:
- Your Desired Lifestyle – Think about the kind of lifestyle you want during retirement. Do you plan to travel, downsize your home, or pursue new hobbies? Your retirement savings should align with these goals.
- Inflation – Keep in mind that the cost of living will likely increase over time due to inflation. Your savings must outpace inflation to maintain your purchasing power.
- Life Expectancy – Consider your family’s history of longevity. If you anticipate a longer life, your savings need to last longer.
- Healthcare Costs – Healthcare expenses tend to rise with age. Ensure you have a plan to cover medical costs during retirement.
What Your Retirement Savings Should Look Like by Age 50
By the time you reach 50, your retirement savings should ideally reflect a significant portion of your future financial security.
While individual circumstances vary, retirement plan provider Fidelity Investments suggests having around six times* your annual income saved for retirement in a 401(k) account or other tax-advantaged account.
This is an advisable objective if you intend to retire from your career at the age of 67.
This age corresponds to the full retirement age for Social Security benefits for individuals born in 1960 or later. It’s the point at which you can claim your standard benefit without incurring any early filing penalties.
Here’s a rough estimate based on age and income:
- By age 30 – Aim for half of your annual salary saved.
- By age 40 – Strive to have three times your annual income saved.
- By age 50 – Aim for around six times your annual salary saved.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), median American earnings in the second quarter of 2022 were about $54,132 per year.
This means if your salary is around the annual median wage, you should aim to have – at a bare minimum – $324,792 saved by age 50.
However, it’s important to continue saving, as the ultimate objective is to accumulate approximately ten times your final salary by the time you retire permanently.
* This calculation is based on the assumption that you are saving 15 percent of your income, intend to withdraw no more than 4-5 percent of your savings annually and anticipate a long and healthy life, reaching the age of 93.
Calculate Your Own Savings and Investment Goal
To get a more accurate picture of your retirement savings needs, consider using retirement calculators such as the Investor.gov calculator or consulting with a financial advisor. They can help you factor in your specific goals, anticipated expenses, and investment strategies.
While a savings benchmark isn’t a replacement for comprehensive retirement planning, it’s a great way to gauge whether you’re on track. It’s much better than blindly guessing.
Keep in mind that factors like your current savings, investment returns, and contribution rates will all influence your final retirement nest egg.
Once you’ve determined your target amount, consider setting up automatic contributions to a tax-advantaged retirement plan to ensure you have the necessary funds to fully enjoy your retirement years.
How to Preserve Your Savings as You Near Age 50
Preserving your retirement savings is just as crucial as accumulating them.
As you approach age 50, consider these strategies:
- Catch-Up Contributions – Take advantage of catch-up contributions allowed in retirement accounts for individuals aged 50 and older. These higher contribution limits can boost your savings. In 2023, for instance, most employees can only contribute up to $22,500 to their 401(k) account. However, if you’re 50+, you can contribute up to $30,000. That extra $7,500 is significant, and between now and retirement, it has time to add up to something substantial.
- Minimize High-Interest Debt – Stopping making interest payments on debt is an excellent way to free up some cash. High-interest debts (credit cards, personal loans, etc.) can hinder your retirement savings. Explore debt relief options like debt settlement or debt consolidation to lower your debt burden and free up funds for savings.
- Reevaluate Your Investment Portfolio – Adjust your investment strategy to reduce risk and protect your savings from market volatility.
- Financial Literacy – If you’re struggling to save, enroll in a financial wellness program that teaches budgeting and basic finances.
- Consider Working Longer – If you do all the above and still find yourself behind on retirement savings, contemplate taking on extra work to generate the necessary income. This may encompass freelance or gig opportunities as well as formal part-time employment. Even a little extra money can help you beef up your retirement savings without cutting into your regular income.
Conclusion About How Much Money Should I Have Saved By 50
If you’re not where you want to be with your retirement savings at 50, you still have some time.
As you plan for retirement, remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how much money you should have saved by 50. Your financial situation, goals, and aspirations are unique.
What’s most important is taking proactive steps to secure your financial future.
Retirement planning can be complicated, so working with a professional who can guide you along the way might be just what you need.
At Americor, we understand the importance of managing your finances wisely.
If high-interest debts are impacting your savings, investments, and financial well-being, explore our debt relief solutions, including debt settlement and debt consolidation, to regain control of your financial future.
If your debt has become unmanageable and you have difficulty making your debt payments each month, then you should consider negotiating a debt settlement and an affordable payment plan that suits your budget.
Talk to one of our certified Debt Consultants, for free, who can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific needs.
By taking proactive steps, you can put an end to your financial stress and work towards a brighter financial future. Remember, there is always hope for debt relief, and our team of experienced professionals are ready to guide you on your journey to regaining control of your finances.
For more information on Americor’s debt relief services, contact us today to see how we can help you pay off your debts, and get on the fast-track to becoming completely debt-free!