Retirement Statistics: How Much is Enough in 2024


Retirement is much different today than it was 20 years ago. People are living longer and, in many situations, are working longer as well. Take a look at some of the most impressive retirement statistics for 2024 and a few tips to help you achieve your goals.

Retirement Savings in 2024

A survey from Northwestern Mutual found that $1.46 million is the “magic number to retire,” or the amount of money most people need to have in the bank before they consider retiring to continue to meet their long-term financial goals. That’s 15% higher in 2024 than it was in 2020, thanks to inflation. Here are some other critical statistics to consider:

  • From today through 2027, 11,000 Americans will turn 65 every single day, but just half feel they are financially ready to do so.
  • In 2024, the average U.S. adult had $88,400 saved for retirement. That’s down from 2023 when this figure was $89,300.
  • About 42% of Gen X, which is the next generation after the Baby Boomers  approaching retirement, and believes they will outlive their savings.

Retirement savings are a critical factor for all people, even those just getting their first job. To build retirement, consider these strategies:

  • As soon as possible, open a tax-advantaged retirement account such as a 401(k) through an employer or an IRA at a bank or credit union.
  • Maximize contributions to tax-advantaged accounts every year to reduce your income taxes paid in the current year and to provide more time for interest to compound over your lifetime. For 2023, that was $6,500 per individual and $7,500 for those over the age of 50, per the IRS.
  • Create new strategies for saving for retirement, such as opening a savings account and setting up automatic payments from your paycheck to go into it. If your employer offers a pension plan, invest in it.

The Department of Labor states that most people entering retirement will need between 70 and 90% of their pre-retirement income to maintain the same standard of living after they retire. That is lower if you have paid off your mortgage. 

Utilize compound interest. If you invested $6,000 every year into a tax-advantaged retirement account or investment strategy earning 7% annually, the following would occur:

  • In 5 years, you would have saved $35,504.
  • In 15 year years, you would have saved $150,775.
  • In 25 years, you would have saved $379,494.
  • In 35 years, potentially at retirement, you would have saved $829,421.

This is due to the value of compound interest building on itself over time. The sooner you put money away, the better.

Health and Life Expectancy Trends

How much you save for retirement is dependent specifically on how long you live, health care costs at the end of life, and overall lifestyle needs. Consider these statistics.

Life expectancy in the U.S.

Men have a life expectancy of 73.5 years on average and women 79.3 years, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. However, this figure is dependent on when you were born, with life expectancy related to factors such as health at various ages of life. To find out your life expectancy according to Social Security, look at the Life Expectancy Calculator. Enter your birthdate and sex, and you’ll see what the Social Security Administration expects.

Healthcare statistics in the US

A Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate sheds light on the cost of healthcare during retirement, one of the most substantial factors in determining how much you need to save to retire.

  • A single person at the age of 65 in 2023 will need $157,500 saved to meet health care expenses during retirement. This is out-of-pocket costs with full insurance coverage.
  • A couple retiring in 2023 may need about $315,000 saved.
  • Of your retirement healthcare costs, 17% will go towards medications, 39% will go towards paying Medicare Part B and Part D premiums, and 44% will cover other medical expenses such as co-insurance, co-payments, deductibles, and out-of-pocket care.

The standard Part B premium for 2024 is $174.70 per month for a single individual filing an individual tax return, as noted by the IRS. That is over $2,096 per year or nearly $42,000 if you pay Medicare for 20 years.

Retirement and Workforce Statistics

Many people will put off retirement due to factors such as:

  • Not having enough saved
  • Healthcare costs
  • Debt, including ongoing mortgage payments

At the same time, some Americans have elected to work longer. Because they enjoy what they are doing and the social aspects of work, they may continue to work longer. Consider these details on how people expect to work after they retire from a Pew Research Center report on social trends.

  • 77% of people working today expect that they will work after they retire in some capacity. 
  • Just 12% of people who are currently retired work for pay either full or part-time today. 
  • Just 27% of people who are currently retired have ever worked full or part-time after retirement. 
  • The average worker today expects to retire by age 61. 
  • Due to health and other factors, the average retiree today (those already retired) stopped working around the age of 57.8. 

The research conducted by Pew shows that, over the last several decades, attitudes about work have changed. People expect to work longer, and more people are actually doing so due to necessity or desire. More so, fewer people are seeking early retirement in general.

How Will Seniors Pay for Retirement?

There are numerous sources of income that could help fund retirement objectives and goals for seniors (depending on what they have put aside to achieve). The U.S. Government Accountability Office states that:

  • 52% of retirees will have some personal savings and retirement accounts to pay for retirement needs to some degree.
  • 29% of people will be dependent in full on Social Security benefits to pay for their retirement needs. 
  • 20% of people will rely on both a retirement plan and Social Security to meet their financial obligations into their retirement.

What Can People Do to Be Better Financially Ready?

  • Invest fully in retirement accounts available.
  • Work to maintain a fit and active lifestyle to reduce the need for overall healthcare costs.
  • Work longer but take on jobs that are more enjoyable or, in some cases, consultancy positions.

There is no magical solution. Yet, for those thinking about these retirement statistics for 2024, keep the following in mind: These statistics are based on what the average person will encounter. You ultimately define the level of financial stability, health, and quality of life you live by the work you do now.

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