Nearly half of American households have no retirement savings (2024)

In 2022, almost half of American households had no savings in retirement accounts, according to the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). These accounts include individual retirement accounts; Keogh accounts; certain employer-sponsored accounts, such as 401(k), 403(b), thrift savings accounts; and pensions.

Personal saving has grown more important as employers have shifted away from defined benefit plans, or pensions, putting more of the responsibility on workers to plan for retirement. In 1989, half of working households ages 50 to 60 had a defined benefit plan. In 2022, only a quarter did.

How much do people save for retirement?

In 2022, about 46% of households reported any savings in retirement accounts. Twenty-six percent had saved more than $100,000, and 9% had more than $500,000.

These percentages were only somewhat higher for older people. Those ages 50 to 54 were the most likely to have a retirement account. About 63% in this age group had any savings, and 35% had saved more than $100,000.

Households with more than $0 saved for retirement, by age

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Retirement savings accounts are not the only place that people could store money for retirement. Is it possible that people are primarily saving their money elsewhere?

Who has more than $0 in these types of accounts?

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Retirement Savings

e.g. IRA, Keogh, pensions

Checking and Savings

Including money market accounts

Financial Assets

e.g. Liquid assets, stocks, bonds

Most American households have at least $1,000 in checking or savings accounts. But only about 12% have more than $100,000 in checking and savings. About 45 percent of the households nearing retirement age have that amount of financial assets, including checking and savings accounts,retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, and certificates of deposit.

Higher percentages of households have a net worth of at least $100,000, especially as they grow older. Net worth includes non-liquid assets, such as a vehicle or house, that would have to be sold to provide income.

Even including these assets, many Americans appear to be set up to depend heavily on Social Security benefits after they stop working. Workers currently younger than 63 are eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits at 67. The average yearly Social Security benefit is currently about $22,000.

How do your retirement savings compare to others?

Households with higher incomes have more saved no matter what is counted as retirement savings.

How do your savings compare to other households?

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At 30 to 34 years old, median retirement savings was$4.7K.


The median household between the ages of 30 and 34 had $4,700 in dedicated retirement accounts, $7,000 in checking and savings accounts, $20,100 in financial assets, and a net worth of $89,800. (In the surveys, the age of the household reflects the male’s age in mixed sex couples and the older individual in same-sex couples.)

At ages 55 to 59, the median household had $24,500 in retirement accounts, $7,900 in checking and savings accounts, $76,000 in financial assets, and a net worth of $320,700.

Read more about the net worth for different types of families, the wait time for Social Security disability benefits, and get the facts every week by signing up for our newsletter.

Sources & Footnotes

Nearly half of American households have no retirement savings (2024)


Nearly half of American households have no retirement savings? ›

Nearly half of American households have no retirement savings, says USA Facts. The cost of living has been the topic of conversation across the country. As families continue working to make ends meet, a report from USA Facts reflects that almost half of American households have no retirement savings.

What percentage of Americans have no retirement savings? ›

Twenty-eight percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 had nothing in their nest eggs, as did 25% of 55-to-64-year-olds. How could so many people have no long-term savings? One answer is that a shocking 39% of Americans aren't contributing to a retirement plan, according to the study.

What percentage of US households have a retirement account? ›

In 2022, about 46% of households reported any savings in retirement accounts. Twenty-six percent had saved more than $100,000, and 9% had more than $500,000. These percentages were only somewhat higher for older people. Those ages 50 to 54 were the most likely to have a retirement account.

Why is it difficult for almost half of Americans to save for retirement? ›

Among the chief shortfalls of the U.S. retirement system is access to a workplace retirement plan, experts said. About half of workers don't have access and are unlikely to save for retirement outside a 401(k)-type plan, they said.

Why are Americans not saving for retirement? ›

Another big part of the problem when it comes to saving for retirement is that savings plans are not universally available in the U.S. Almost half of private sector employees ages 18 to 64, or 57 million Americans, do not have the option to save for retirement at work.

How many Americans over 50 have no retirement savings? ›

WASHINGTON (TND) — About 20% of Americans who are 50 or older and not yet retired have no retirement savings and are concerned about prices rising faster than their income as inflation continues to present a challenge to households and entitlement programs are facing budget shortfalls.

Do 1 in 3 Americans have no retirement savings? ›

Putting money aside today is essential for financial stability in your golden years. Even if you are contributing to a retirement account, knowing how much to save can be confusing. Nearly one-third — 31% — of Americans have no retirement savings goal, according to a recent survey conducted by GOBankingRates.

How many US households have no savings? ›

Nearly one in four (22%) of U.S. adults have no emergency savings at all, Bankrate found—the second-lowest percentage in 13 years of polling. That's especially bad news given that most Americans would need at least six months of emergency savings to feel comfortable day-to-day.

How many Americans have $100,000 in savings? ›

More than one in 10 Americans do not have any savings

Almost one in ten men have $100,000 or more in savings, but the figure falls by four percentage points for women (9% men vs. 5% women).

How much does the average 70 year old have in savings? ›

The Federal Reserve also measures median and mean (average) savings across other types of financial assets. According to the data, the average 70-year-old has approximately: $60,000 in transaction accounts (including checking and savings) $127,000 in certificate of deposit (CD) accounts.

Is $100 000 in the bank good? ›

There's no one-size-fits-all number in your bank or investment account that means you've achieved this stability, but $100,000 is a good amount to aim for. For most people, it's not anywhere near enough to retire on, but accumulating that much cash is usually a sign that something's going right with your finances.

How much money does the average American retire with? ›

Key findings. In 2022, the average (median) retirement savings for American households was $87,000. Median retirement savings for Americans younger than 35 was $18,800 as of 2022.

How many people have $1,000,000 in retirement savings? ›

However, not a huge percentage of retirees end up having that much money. In fact, statistically, around 10% of retirees have $1 million or more in savings.

How do people retire with no savings? ›

Many retirees with little to no savings rely solely on Social Security as their main source of income. You can claim Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but your benefit amount will depend on when you start filing for the benefit. You get less than your full benefit if you file before your full retirement age.

Why don t Millennials save for retirement? ›

By some measures, millennials lag on retirement preparedness and net worth relative to older generations such as Gen X and baby boomers. There are many reasons for this, such as a shift away from pensions toward 401(k) plans and high student debt burdens.

Is 100K in retirement by 30 good? ›

“By the time you're 40, you should have three times your annual salary saved. Based on the median income for Americans in this age bracket, $100K between 25-30 years old is pretty good; but you would need to increase your savings to reach your age 40 benchmark.”

How many people have no retirement accounts? ›

According to AARP, nearly 57 million American workers do not have access to an employee-sponsored retirement plan.

How many people haven t saved for retirement? ›

About 1 in 4 have no retirement savings, according to research released Wednesday by the organization that shows how a graying America is worrying more and more about how to make ends meet even as economists and policymakers say the U.S. economy has all but achieved a soft landing after two years of record inflation.

How many Americans do not have a retirement plan? ›

Nearly half of all working Americans lack access to a retirement plan at work. Unfortunately, due to the voluntary structure of the employment-based retirement savings system, about 48 percent of working Americans currently lack access to a retirement savings account through work.


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