Study: How Much Americans Think They Need To Retire Hits Record High

Americans are pretty ambitious when it comes to their retirement, new research suggests. Northwestern Mutual’s 2024 Planning & Progress Study has just come out, revealing that the typical worker believes they’ll need $1.46-million to retire comfortably. That amount is an all-time high and a 53% jump from the savings target of $951-thousand in 2020.

The thing is, thinking they’ll need that much money doesn’t mean they’re actually saving that much. Most people are far from reaching that much, the study finds that the average amount U.S. adults have in a retirement account today is only $88,400, down from $89,300 in 2023. That means there’s a $1.37-million gap between what the average person thinks they need for retirement and what they’ve saved so far.

The study also shows the amounts each generation thinks they’ll need for a comfortable retirement and how much they’ve put away as of now:

  • Gen Z expects to need $1.63-million for retirement, but has only saved an average of $22,800, a $1.61-million difference
  • Millennials think they’ll need $1.65-million, but have saved $62,600 on average, a gap of $1.59-million
  • Gen X believes they’ll need $1.56-million and has only saved an average of $108,600, a difference of $1.45-million
  • Baby boomers predict they’ll need $990-thousand, but they’ve saved $120,300 on average, a gap of $870-thousand

Source: Northwestern Mutual

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