How Much Should You Have in Retirement Savings at 65?
At age 65, you may be retired or preparing to retire soon. It’s an age when you may be concerned about the size of your retirement nest egg.
If you’re already retired, will it be enough to last for the rest of your golden years? If you’re not yet retired, how much more should you aim to save to get your nest egg to a place where you can stop working and have peace of mind?
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are a few rules of thumb you should keep in mind.
Aim for $700K at a Minimum
Larry Hendrickson, founder and managing partner at G&H Financial Group, notes that the amount of retirement savings you should have if you retire at 65 will depend on your personal living costs. It also will depend on whether or not you want to leave an inheritance.
He broke down a few scenarios to see how far different amounts of savings would go if you are a single individual with a desired annual retirement income of $55,000 or a married couple with a desired income of $75,000.
His calculations assume an average annual Social Security benefit payment of $30,708 per year for singles or $61,416 for couples, an inflation rate of 3.5% up to age 80 and a rate of 2.5% thereafter, a Social Security inflation rate of 1.5% and an investment return rate of 4% up to age 95.
Take Our Poll: Do You Think the US Should Raise the Medicare Tax on High Earners To Help Save the Program?
“A single individual with $800,000 in a retirement account, spending $55,000 a year with 3.5% inflation and a rate of return of 4% will run out of money at age 95,” he said. “If they passed away at 94, there would be $28,141 left in the retirement account. If the individual desired to leave a legacy, they would need a balance of $900,000 in their retirement. Then at age 95, their beneficiaries would divide $269,985.
“A married couple with $700,000 set aside for retirement would leave $23,979 if they lived until age 95,” he said. “With a retirement account [balance] of $800,000, they would leave $348,328.”
At $900,000, the remainder would be $672,658. At $1 million, it would be $996,998.
Bill Waggoner, partner at Stoney Creek Advisors, LLC in Rochester Hills, Michigan, recommends that a couple who is 65 aim for $1 million in retirement savings.
“Every case is special because everyone has different goals, expenses and needs in retirement,” he said. “As a rule of thumb today, for the average middle-American couple around age 65, I usually suggest accruing a portfolio of around $1 million to retire comfortably and avoid returning to work during retirement.”
How To Calculate Your Ideal Retirement Savings Amount at 65
Paul Tyler of Nassau Financial Group in Hartford, Connecticut, notes that calculating your ideal retirement savings amount can be quite complex.
“You first need a very clear-eyed view of your income and expenses in retirement,” he said.
Income includes Social Security, pensions, annuities and other sources of income, such as rental property. Expenses should include day-to-day expenses, healthcare costs and some financial cushion for unexpected expenses.
Once you know these numbers, use the “4% drawdown rule” to calculate the savings needed, Waggoner said.
“This is one of the oldest ‘rules’ in retirement planning,” he said. “The 4% drawdown rule states that you should be able to take 4% from your investments annually without touching your principal. This approximation is based on the historical 4% to 5% average growth rate that most financial advisors use to gauge growth in retirement investments.”
More From GOBankingRates
- In Less Than a Decade, You Won't Be Able To Afford a Home in These Cities
- Never Use Autopay for These Bills, According To Financial Experts
- 3 Things You Must Do When Your Savings Reach $50,000
- 48 Easy Things You Can Do To Live Better and Save Money