By Alana Benson
The average and median values of this group’s retirement holdings are significantly higher than those of the under-35 set. These are strong earning years alongside peak spending years. Particularly for those who have kids, dollars may be stretched around paying for child care, saving for college and saving for retirement. If you’re looking to increase those retirement savings, an IRA can be a great way to do it.
Ages 45 to 54
Average household retirement savings: $254,720
Median household retirement savings: $100,000
This group is still part of Generation X, with the oldest members about a decade from what’s considered the standard retirement age. About 58% of households headed by someone this age have retirement holdings, according to the SCF.
These can be peak earning years, especially for men, who see earnings growth until age 55, according to compensation research firm PayScale. The company’s research shows women top out over a decade earlier, at 44.
Ages 55 to 64
Average household retirement savings: $408,420
Median household retirement savings: $134,000
These are baby boomers, and the oldest among them are knocking on retirement’s door — just a couple of short years from Social Security’s definition of full retirement age. About 54.5% of households headed by a baby boomer have retirement holdings.
Ages 65 to 74
Average household retirement savings: $426,070
Median household retirement savings: $164,000
The bulk of these households include someone who is in retirement, or at least of retirement age. As a result, many are at the stage when they are probably spending, rather than accumulating, savings. According to the SCF, 48% of this age group have retirement accounts.
After this point, average and median retirement account values begin to fall, as does the percentage of people who have retirement accounts. For households headed by someone age 75 or older, the median value of retirement holdings is $83,000, with an average holding of $357,920.
What do these numbers tell you?
The headline here: Most people aren’t saving enough for retirement and are entering retirement with very little stashed away.
That’s just one reason why the average retirement savings for someone your age isn’t a benchmark. If you use these numbers as your guiding star, you’ll likely be in the same state as most of the country: unprepared for retirement.
How much you should have saved, and how much you should be saving, have nothing to do with where others your age stand. It has everything to do with your income, planned retirement spending, expected retirement age and life expectancy.
If you want to find out how much you personally will need to retire, a retirement calculator can help. And if that calculator tells you you’re behind? An IRA is a good place to start catching up.
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Alana Benson is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com.