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I am trying to figure how how I am doing saving for retirement compared to other people in my age group. I want to find percentile rankings of retirement savings by age age group.

  • What country are you in? – Chris W. Rea Jan 16 '12 at 18:42
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First, I'll answer your question. A Google search for savings by age group will turn up good results. Here are a couple:

Second, I recommend that you don't benchmark yourself relative to your peers. The average savings for 60-year-olds is woefully inadequate. For a comfortable retirement (not worry-free by any stretch) it should be several times that, at least.

Just because you're doing better than they (or your appropriate age group) is no indication whatsoever that you're saving enough.

Go through a good retirement savings calculator with conservative returns and inflation -- after going through a life expectancy calculator to see how long your money should last you -- and you'll be scared straight.

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    +1 for "I recommend that you don't benchmark yourself relative to your peers." – Adam Jaskiewicz Jan 16 '12 at 17:34
  • The Chart from USA Today led me to EBRI.ORG. They look like they would know where I can find these statistics. – blindsandal Jan 17 '12 at 14:53
  • EBRI pointed me to: The closest would be the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finance in which the Fed provides detailed data on the number of families that hold various financial assets and the median amount in those holdings. Data is provided by age of head of family. – blindsandal Jan 17 '12 at 16:42
  • Yes. "My neighbor shot himself in both feet, but I only shot myself in one foot" is not much to brag about. I occasionally look up averages of one sort or another and enjoy feeling smug if I'm doing better than average. But I'd rather be doing something smart than simply doing something less stupid than my neighbor. The real question is, If you continue saving for retirement at the present rate, when you reach retirement age, how much income will you have to live on? And, Is this enough to have a comfortable retirement? – Jay Feb 16 '18 at 23:18
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I don't think it provides actual percentile information, but ING Compare Me is pretty slick as a comparison survey against "people like you". You answer a bunch of financial questions and it tells you what percentage of people similar to you answered the same (or differently).

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In addition to mbhunter's answer, you should start off by setting some goals of what sort of income you would like to achieve in your retirement (based on what you want to do in retirement — would you like to travel, eat out on a regular basis, or just take it easy and have a few hobbies) and then work backwards. Use the retirement savings and life expectancy calculators to show you how much you're going to need to put away for retirement to achieve this income. Then finally work out how you are going to go about putting the required funds aside through a combination of savings and investing.

  • The Chart from USA Today led me to EBRI.ORG. They look like they would know where I can find these statistics. The average retirement savings by age group produces such a small number compared to the amount one needs produced by retirement calculators. These numbers are so out of whack compared to each other. I want to see what my percentile ranking among my peers. It makes me wonder if retirement calculators are set up to make one to feel so inadequate so that it is impossible to manage one's finances. Thus the finance industry should take over handling your finances. – blindsandal Jan 17 '12 at 15:07
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    @blindsandal, I wouldn't look at it that way. Firstly I would see the difference between the calculator and the current average retirement savings as a warning bell telling you that you need to take action now. The calculators just use mathematics to provide you information, its upto you how you choose to use that information. Secondly, I would use the information from the calulators as an incentive for you to learn more about how to manage your own personal finances and become more financially literate, instead of relying on others to manage your finances. – Victor Jan 17 '12 at 19:18

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