Record High Retirement Savings Target Set by Americans Amid Inflation Concerns: Study


Inflationary pressures have driven Americans to rethink their retirement goals, with a study revealing a record-high target of $1.46 million for retirement savings. According to Northwestern Mutual’s 2024 Planning & Progress Study, which surveyed 4,588 adults in January, this figure marks a staggering 53% increase from the $951,000 target reported in 2020 and a 15% rise from last year’s $1.27 million.

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Despite the surge in retirement savings targets, the study found that Americans are not saving more. The average retirement savings among U.S. adults dropped modestly to $88,400 from $89,300 in 2023. This decline widens the gap between retirement savings goals and actual savings to $1.37 million.

Aditi Javeri Gokhale, Chief Strategy Officer at Northwestern Mutual, expressed concerns over the widening gap, attributing it to the impact of inflation on retirement expectations. She emphasized the need for individuals to reassess their retirement savings strategies in light of evolving economic conditions.

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Here’s a breakdown of retirement savings targets and actual savings across generations:

  • Gen Z: Expects to need $1.63 million but has saved only $22,800 on average.
  • Millennials: Target $1.65 million but have saved $62,600 on average.
  • Gen X: Aims for $1.56 million but has saved $108,600 on average.
  • Boomers: Estimate $990,000 but have saved $120,300 on average.

Even individuals with high net worth show significant disparities between expected retirement needs and actual savings. Despite expecting to require $3.93 million, they have saved only $172,100 on average.

The study also highlights differences in savings tactics among generations. Gen Z, recognizing the importance of early retirement planning, starts saving for retirement at an average age of 22, nearly a decade earlier than the overall average of 31 across generations. In contrast, Boomers reported starting to save at age 37.

Moreover, optimism about longevity and concerns about the future of Social Security are driving younger generations to save earlier and plan for longer retirements. Gen Z expects to retire at age 60, twelve years earlier than Boomers.

While individuals focus on accumulating retirement savings, the study warns that many overlook the impact of taxes on retirement income. Only 30% of Americans have a plan to minimize taxes on their retirement savings, despite the significant tax implications of retirement withdrawals.

To address this issue, experts recommend strategic financial planning, including tax-efficient withdrawal strategies, charitable donations, and utilization of tax-advantaged accounts such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).

As Americans grapple with rising inflation and evolving retirement expectations, prudent financial planning becomes increasingly vital to ensure a secure and comfortable retirement.

Data Source : usatoday

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