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Average Retirement Savings Revealed: Are You Normal?

Research behind how much Americans save, and who feels most confident about their plan.

Find up to three advisors that serve your area, free!

Many Americans worry they’re not saving enough for retirement, and rightfully so.

A 2022 Northwestern Mutual study found that 62% of U.S. adults admit their financial planning needs improvement. However, only 35% of Americans work with a financial advisor.1

Retirement Planning Statistics

While the value of working with a financial advisor varies by person and advisors are legally prohibited from promising returns, research suggests people who work with a financial advisor:

  1. Feel more at ease about their finances and
  2. Could end up with about 15% more money to spend in retirement.2

A 2019 Vanguard study found that, on average, a hypothetical $500K investment would grow to over $3.4 million under the care of an advisor over 25 years, whereas the expected value from self-management would be $1.69 million, or 50% less. In other words, an advisor-managed portfolio would average 8% annualized growth over a 25-year period, compared to 5% from a self-managed portfolio.3

Assuming 5% annualized growth of $500k portfolio vs 8% annualized growth of advisor managed portfolio over 25 years.
The hypothetical study discussed above assumes a 5% net return and a 3% net annual value add for professional financial advice to performance based on the Vanguard Whitepaper “Putting a Value on your Value, Quantifying Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha”. Please carefully review the methodologies employed in the Vanguard Whitepaper. To receive a copy of the whitepaper, please contact The value of professional investment advice is only an illustrative estimate and varies with each unique client’s individual circumstances and portfolio composition. Carefully consider your investment objectives, risk factors, and perform your own due diligence before choosing an investment adviser.
Have I saved enough?

The National Institute of Retirement Security reports: Approximately 40 million households have no retirement savings.4

It’s never too late to get started. Although results are never guaranteed and risks are involved, well-managed investments may potentially compound over time.

Fidelity reported in May 2022 that the average 401(k) balance for those who've been saving for over 10 years averaged over $380,000.5

Not sure where to start? We created a free quiz to help Americans find vetted financial advisors who serve your area, obligated to work in your best interest. Whether you're just getting started, or want a second opinion on your retirement plan, an advisor might be able to help.

So how much do I need to save?

Here are some general retirement guidelines to consider:

  • You should have saved the equivalent of one year’s salary by the time you hit 30, according to Fidelity research, but saving more certainly won’t hurt.
  • Going by their estimates, you should aim to have:


by 40


by 50


by 60


by retirement

These recommendations are based on a person saving 15% of their income beginning at age 25, investing at least 50% in stocks and a target retirement age of 67.6

Of course, saving for retirement is different for everyone. If you feel like you're behind in savings, want to make sure you're on track, or want to find investment vehicles to help you save more, talking to an advisor can help you set and execute a retirement plan.

Each advisor has a differentiated strategy. It’s important to find one with experience in your strategy and preferences. The investment plans for younger Americans tend to be different from those who start investing later.

Find up to three advisors that serve your area, free!

Smart Financial Tools

American's Average Retirement Savings by Age

An October 2020 study by the Center for Retirement Research calculated median retirement account (401(k)/IRA) balances by age from Federal Reserve survey data.7 Here are the numbers:


35 to 44


45 to 54


55 to 64

Speak to an Advisor to Work On Boosting Your Retirement Savings

Regardless of where your retirement savings stand right now, one way that you can help get a retirement plan in place is by working with a financial advisor.

A 2022 Northwestern Mutual study found that 76.7% of U.S. adults who work with a financial advisor report certainty in their "ability to achieve long-term financial security."8

Yet knowing how to find a fiduciary advisor is, for many, the most confusing task of all. Common Google searches related to the topic reveal a desperate search for direction. “Fiduciary financial advisors near me,” “best fiduciary financial advisor,” and “financial investment advisors near me” are searched for hundreds of times per day.

Finding a fiduciary shouldn’t be that hard. Thankfully, it isn’t.

Our free tool helps Americans get matched with up to three advisors that serve their area so they can compare and decide which advisor they feel may align with helping to achieve their financial goals.

It’s never too late to get your finances straight.

It’s never too late to get your finances straight.

Click Your State to Get Matched With Financial Advisors Who Serve Your Area
After you choose your state and answer a few questions, you can compare up to three advisors that serve your area and decide which to work with.
Find up to three advisors that serve your area, free!