Here’s How Much Millennials Have Saved For Retirement


If you’re a millennial, there’s a good chance you’re putting some serious thought into your retirement savings. Retirement sneaks up fast and, well, us millennials aren’t getting any younger. So how much money do millennials have saved for retirement on average?

Thinking about retirement savings is like a mountaintop – the destination is the same, yet there are many paths to the top. Some routes are easier than others. The easiest path to retirement is the proven financial rules of thumb – a way simpler path than bushwhacking through the forest and scaling steep cliffs top the top with risky and exhausting attempts at financial windfalls.

For example – We’ve compiled what the experts at Fidelity say for how much you should have saved for retirement by age.

That said, progress isn’t the same for everyone. Especially when you hear that the average 401k for most Americans under $30 is considered remarkably low.

Any poker player will tell you it’s only human instinct to compare your stack of chips with others at the table, as a matter of strategy.

Same goes with comparing saving for retirement progress with your peers. It’s how you know exactly where you stand in the race.

That said, talking about personal financial goal posts can be a tough subject to broach with friends. Telling people how much money you have is almost never advisable.  


How much money do millennials have saved for retirement?

Depends on who you ask, of course. But if you’re ready to feel old – The oldest millennials are officially turning 40 this year, according to Pew Research.


For many, this is a wake up call. Not only are millennials rapidly barreling towards colonoscopy screening age, but also retirement age. Think about it like this: The oldest millennials have about as many years in the work force as they do in the future towards retirement.

There’s good news. According to a data collected by Northwestern Mutual, millennials expect to retire at 61, about seven years earlier than Boomers, at age 68.8.

Not bad for a generation that graduated from college with record amounts of debt and entered the workforce at the height of The Great Recession.

According to data from wealth management platform Personal Capital, the average American born between 1981 and 1996 with retirement accounts has $166,430 set aside.

Let’s compare this to Gen Zers – those born in 1997 or after. According to Personal Capital, Gen Z has about $35,197 stashed away.

Personal Capital’s findings correlate with data from Fidelity based on its account holders, which showed that as of the fourth quarter of 2020:

  • 20- to 29-year-olds had an average of $15,000 saved in a 401(k). 
  • 30 to 39 had $50,800
  • 40- to 49-year-olds had $120,800
  • 50- to 59-year-olds had about $203,600.

These findings are from Personal Capital’s own analysis of the savings accounts from 2 million of the site’s users, including retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs.

Personal Capital also lays out the following retirement averages, based on generation:

Gen Z: $35,197in retirement savings

Gen Xers: $568,750 in retirement savings

Baby boomers: $1,029,840 in retirement savings

That data either makes you feel great about how your progress stacks up or lights a fire under you.

With 20+ years left to go the workforce for most millennials, there’s no better time than the present to start correcting course.

You got this!

B. Carlisle

Contributing editor at Wealth Gang. An entrepreneur at heart, he's passionate about meaningful ways to leverage technology and social media for business opportunities and side hustles.