How much does the average American have in retirement savings?
November 30th, 2023, Kineree Shah

How much does the average American have in retirement savings?

The journey to retirement is often paved with uncertainty, and recent data from YouGov Profiles provides a compelling narrative about average savings for retirement trends along with the state of preparedness across different generations of Americans. 

Our data reveals a general apprehension: two in five Americans adults are not confident about their retirement provisions (43%). This sentiment is especially pronounced among Gen X, where nearly half (48%) express doubt about their financial future. Unsurprisingly, the Silent Generation, the vast majority of whom are already in their retirement years, show the greatest confidence, but it’s still only half feeling secure about their retirement finances (48%).

So, how much does the average American have in retirement savings? A troubling trend emerges: a considerable portion of Americans are at the nascent stages of saving for retirement or have not started at all. This is evident with a quarter of adults having made no financial arrangements (24%), and another 15% having saved less than $5,000. Only a sliver, 2%, report having saved over a million dollars.

The disparities in savings are even more pronounced when segmented by age. Two-fifths of Gen Z have not initiated any financial arrangements for retirement (44%), which could be attributed to their stage in life where retirement seems only a distant reality. Gen Z and Millennials are notably behind, with over three in five (60%) either having no savings for retirement or having saved less than $5,000. But 17% have saved between $5,000 and $50,000.

Among the Silent Generation, a cumulative 22% have saved at least $500,000, underscoring a lifetime of financial planning. Conversely, Baby Boomers and the silent generation exhibit higher savings, reflecting their proximity to or experience in retirement.

In light of these findings, businesses have a critical opportunity to address the retirement readiness gap by offering robust retirement planning services and financial education programs. While older generations demonstrate the benefits of long-term saving, the younger people face a wake-up call to prioritize retirement planning.

In a separate piece we explored how much does an average American have in savings.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Data for the US is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.