Friday Financial Tidbit-Are you on pace for retirement?

When it comes to our culture’s view on retirement, it is a classic case of “Do what I say . . . not what I do.” An overwhelming majority of Americans say they want to retire someday and enjoy life, but they do little if nothing in terms of saving for it. A look at these statistics courtesy of Statistic Barn tell the story. (Some statistics bolded for emphasis)

Retirement Statistics Data
Average retirement age 62
Average length of retirement 18 years
Average savings of a 50 year old $43,797
Total cost for a couple over 65 to pay for medical treatment over a 20 year span $215,000
Percentage of people ages 30-54 who believe they will not have enough money put away for retirement 80%
Percentage of Americans over 65 who rely completely on Social Security 35%
Percentage of Americans who don’t save anything for retirement 36%
Total Number of Americans who turn 65 per day 6,000
Percentage of population that is 65 years of age or older 13%
Out of 100 people who starts working at the age of 25, by the age 65:
Will be considered wealthy 1%
Have adequate capital stowed away for retirement 4%
Will still be working 3%
Are dependent on Social Security, friends, relatives or charity 63%
Are dead 29%

I’ve stated before how I feel about retirement. But when I look at these statistics, I’m amazed by how much we say we want to retire, but how little we save for it. The best way to save for retirement is to start saving as soon as possible. I recommend first, however, that you become debt free before investing for retirement, but once you have no consumer debt start to save like crazy for it. Check out this guide on how much you need to have saved when you retire to live a certain lifestyle.

Amount Needed in Savings For Retirement

Monthly income need Savings Needed for 20 Years Savings Needed for 30 Years
$1,000 $166,696 $212,150
$2,000 $333,392 $424,300
$3,000 $500,087 $636,450
$4,000 $666,783 $848,601
$5,000 $833,479 $1,060,751
$6,000 $1,000,175 $1,272,901
$7,000 $1,166,871 $1,485,051
$8,000 $1,333,567 $1,697,201
$9,000 $1,500,262 $1,909,351
$10,000 $1,666,958 $2,121,501
The above sums assume your portfolio will earn a 6 percent annualized return during the course of your retirement and endure 2 percent annual inflation erosion.

Those amounts sound huge at first, and they are, but they are also not unattainable. They can be achieved by being disciplined, constantly contributing to your retirement each month and using the power of compound interest as your friend. The thing is, if you want to retire and have enough money to live comfortably, you have to make it a priority to save. If you don’t and you just let retirement “sneak up” on you, chances are you will become another statistic.

Are you on pace for retirement? Have you thought about the kind of retirement you would like to have? When you see these statistics, what is your first thought?

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2 Responses to Friday Financial Tidbit-Are you on pace for retirement?

  1. Brad Kinder says:

    You said it, making the commitment to save for retirement is key. Problem is, people just aren’t doing it.  These stats are alarming.  Great post, Jon!

    • Jon White says:

      Brad, those stats are very depressing. But I try to use them to serve as a reminder that I don’t want to be average when it comes to my retirement savings.

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