Average Savings By Age: How Do You Compare?

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Saving money is an essential part of life. Whether it’s for a new home, a trip abroad or a rainy day fund, saving is crucial for both expected and unexpected living costs.

But as inflation’s icy grip takes hold, people may be left with a little less discretionary income than usual. In this case, savings can be a comforting backdrop on which to rely. With that in mind, how much do average Americans have tucked away, and what’s the right amount? Here’s what you need to know.

How Exactly Are Savings Defined?

Savings are defined as the spare cash consumers have left over once taxes, essential expenses and discretionary spending have been subtracted from total income. The balance put aside by consumers to be dedicated to future events — such as retirement or buying a home — is referred to as savings.

How Much Does the Average Person Have in Savings?

To get a complete perspective of consumer savings health, three categories will be taken into account:

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The data compiled for the tables below are from the Federal Reserve’s most recent survey of consumer finances. The statistics take into account the following:

  1. The median savings balance: This number represents the middle value when comparing all savings in a given age group. It is a more accurate account of savings than the mean balance because outliers don’t strongly affect this value. Just as many accounts have less than the median balance as accounts with a greater balance.
  2. The mean savings balance: This balance represents the average amount of money people have saved. It is calculated by adding up all savings and dividing the amount by the number of accounts. Outliers can skew the mean much more than they can affect the median.

Here’s a breakdown of average savings by age in each respective category.

Transaction Accounts

Transaction accounts refer to general spending accounts and those used to transfer money, such as checking and savings accounts. Here’s a breakdown of how much each age group has between these accounts.

Age Group Median Balance Mean Balance
Younger than 35 $3,240 $11,250
35 to 44 $4,710 $27,910
45 to 54 $6,400 $48,200
55 to 64 $5,620 $57,670
65 to 74 $8,000 $60,410
Older than 74 $9,300 $55,320
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Financial Assets

Financial assets are a total measure of all liquid assets held by consumers, such as cash, stocks, bonds and deposit accounts, like certificates of deposit. Here’s the baseline for reference and the average amount consumers have in dollar value.

Age Group Median Balance Mean Balance
Younger than 35 $8,500 $34,780
35 to 44 $22,650 $170,740
45 to 54 $36,800 $373,420
55 to 64 $46,900 $570,250
65 to 74 $54,300 $643,110
Older than 74 $53,000 $507,660

Retirement Account Balances

Retirement accounts can be split into defined benefit plans and contribution plans. This includes 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts, for example. Here is the retirement savings average by age and the median for each group.

Age Group Median Balance Mean Balance
Younger than 35 $13,000 $30,170
35 to 44 $60,000 $131,950
45 to 54 $100,000 $254,720
55 to 64 $134,000 $408,420
65 to 74 $164,000 $426,070
Older than 74 $83,000 $357,920

How Much Should You Be Saving?

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the current savings rate is 5.1% of disposable income. So, contributing an amount greater than this figure into a savings account after every payday is more than the average American.

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Using the 50/30/20 Rule as a Savings Guide

Those who want to stay on top of their personal finances should consider following the 50/30/20 rule — 50% of income spent on expenses, 30% on discretionary items and 20% toward savings. Here’s a breakdown of median U.S. salaries in 2021 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and how much should be saved based on the 50/30/20 rule:

Age Group Median Salary Per Week Target Savings Per Week
16 to 19 $555 $111
20 to 24 $633 $126.60
25 to 34 $928 $185.60
35 to 44 $1,119 $223.80
45 to 54 $1,134 $226.80
55 to 64 $1,130 $226
65+ $989 $197.80

How To Make More From Your Savings

Consumers can make more from their long-term savings by putting their extra cash to work. Some of the popular methods include using: 

High-Yield Savings Accounts

As the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, many banks have increased the yields for online savings accounts. Consumers now have the chance to earn far more from their money that sits idle than in the last several years.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

CDs are an attractive option for individuals who are happy to lock away a lump sum for a defined period. Institutions will often offer special coupon rates that can be taken advantage of — but keep in mind that withdrawing cash early often comes with hefty penalty fees.

Treasury Bonds

Government bonds such as I bonds are a great way to combat inflation. Interest is payable every six months at rates of 9.62%.

Final Take

How much everyone saves will differ based on their income, education and financial objectives. The primary financial goal early on in life should be building up an emergency fund or saving for a major purchase.

Anyone who wants to increase their savings rate could pick up a side hustle in their spare time or invest in skills to increase their overall earnings. As consumers near retirement age, they can begin to utilize their built-up nest egg to replace their income. 

FAQ

Here are some other common questions people ask about savings by age.
  • How much should the average 25-year-old have saved?
    • A 25-year-old falls into the under-35 age bracket, with an average savings of $11,200 in transactions accounts. However, this figure will be skewed towards older consumers in the same category, so the real average is likely below this figure.
  • How much should a 30-year-old have in savings?
    • It’s estimated that the average 30-year-old has $11,200 across transaction accounts. This excludes other financial assets and retirement plans.
  • How much does the average 40-year-old have in the bank?
    • The average 40-year-old in the U.S. has roughly $27,910 between transaction accounts. However, most Americans aged between 35 and 44 have just $4,710.

Information is accurate as of Aug. 10, 2022.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

David is a qualified financial advisor in the Republic of Ireland. He has a bachelor's degree in business and entrepreneurship, as well as over five years of investing experience.
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