A husband and wife standing together in kitchen

How much money do you need in retirement?

Oct 5, 2021
Empower Insights

Even as you get older, you may find yourself feeling younger at heart. Your job, family and health, as well as your financial, physical and mental well-being, can all keep you going strong as you grow up and advance in your career. After all, there’s a reason people believe, “Age is more than just a number.”

But do you know what else is more than just a number?

Your retirement income.

While there is no magic number, saving 10% of your annual salary is often the target many people shoot for along their journey. In fact, Empower research reveals those who contribute 10% from each paycheck to their retirement account are on pace to replace 100% of their working income down the road.

As new insight from Empower and Personal Capital shows, most Americans would feel comfortable if they had around $515,000 in the bank. While setting a goal of more than a half a million dollars sounds great, it’s not about reaching a specific target because there is no one-size-fits-all amount for everyone. Growing your nest egg is more about saving enough to achieve the lifestyle you want for your own future.

How much do I need to retire?

It’s up to you!

Some professionals  suggest you’ll only need about 80% of your current earnings to cover your cost of living in retirement. For example, if you bring in $80,000 right now, you may need $64,000 per year when you’re retired. Whether you settle on 80%, 100% or in between, don’t forget to factor in your estimated Social Security benefits, and any personal sources of income, when doing the math and evaluating your situation.

Graphic. Saving for your golden years.

How long will my retirement savings last?

It really depends on many variables, such as the expenses, priorities and hobbies you envision on having during retirement.

Do you have dreams of travelling the world in your newfound free time or moving to a warmer location? What bills do you anticipate on having every month? Will you have a mortgage or rent payment? How will you manage inflation? Do you have any medical conditions? When do you think you’ll collect Social Security?

Of course, these are just some of the critical questions to answer. But putting a plan place now, and building a budget for your future, can help you prepare for what’s to come later. On average, a 65-year-old man today can expect to live until 84 while a 65-year-old woman can expect to live until 86.1 So, when you’re ready to move to your next phase, you’ll want to have enough socked away to last at least two decades.

How do I know if I’m on the right path?

Empower’s retirement calculator can help you determine how much money you might need to fund your golden years.   

Once you’ve entered the required data, which includes your retirement accounts, outside assets, savings goals and investment strategies, the tool will show you your retirement income projection and provide tips for closing any gaps. If your results aren’t quite what you thought they’d be, don’t worry. Seeing where you stand today, and following your next steps, can help you make progress toward your tomorrow.


1 ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table4c6.html

Empower Retirement, LLC and its affiliates are not responsible for the third-party content provided.

Personal Capital is an affiliate of Empower Retirement.


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