How Much Workers Think They Need to Retire — and Their Actual Savings

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Senior worker is concerned
SeventyFour /

How much will you need to retire? Surprisingly, most of us have a precise dollar figure in mind.

However, that doesn’t mean we are on track to reach our goals.

Recently, Transamerica released its 23rd annual retirement survey. As part of the research, Transamerica asked more than 10,000 respondents to name the amount of money they will need to retire. These shares of respondents gave the following replies:

  • $2 million: 21%
  • $1 million to $1.9 million: 18%
  • $500,000 to $999,000: 18%
  • $100,000 to $499,000: 23%
  • Less than $100,000: 20%

That means than 43% of workers believe they can retire with less than $500,000 in savings. Such a number is far below what most experts recommend, but it doesn’t mean those workers are necessarily wrong.

After all, as we reported in “8 Tips to Retire Comfortably on Social Security Alone,” it is possible — although not easy — to retire on nothing more than benefit payments from the federal retirement program.

Still, your retirement is likely to be far brighter if you save more cash. Unfortunately, many of us are doing a poor job of saving for our golden years.

Here is how much survey respondents say they actually have saved for retirement:

  • $250,000 or more: 29%
  • $100,000 to less than $250,000: 12%
  • $50,000 to less than $100,000: 11%
  • $25,000 to less than $50,000: 8%
  • $10,000 to less than $25,000: 6%
  • $5,000 to less than $10,000: 6%
  • $1,000 to less than $5,000: 7%
  • None: 9%

In total, nearly half of respondents — 47% — have less than $100,000 saved for retirement. So, it’s clear that Americans have some work to do if they plan to retire comfortably.

If you have fallen behind savings goals, know that it is never too late to make a fresh start. To begin your journey, check out “5 Fast Ways to Turbocharge Your Retirement Savings.”

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