How Much Retirement Savings Should I Have at 35?

by | Sep 29, 2023

Many in their mid-thirties ponder, “How much retirement savings should I have at 35?” Financial firms have guidelines, of course, but they can often seem as clear as mud. This guide will break it down without any advice that makes you feel like you’re trying to solve a Rubik’s cube blindfolded.

retirement savings jar

Think of your retirement and savings account as a car on a journey, and you’re the driver. Your 35th birthday is like a rest stop on that journey, where you can refuel, stretch your legs, and glance at the map to ensure you’re still on the right road. 

Your retirement savings benchmarks are the mile markers, telling you how far you’ve come and how much road lies ahead. At age 35, you’re in a prime position to make some savvy moves with your money, setting yourself up for a restful and secure retirement.

Let’s begin with a straightforward scenario. If you’re a 35-year-old earning $60,000 a year, financial advisers typically suggest having at least double that amount, or $120,000, saved for retirement. That amount may sound like a lot, but your investment returns can help your nest egg grow. 

Start saving for retirement today!

Analyzing Average Saving Habits at 35

Have you ever wondered about the financial standing of the common individual when it comes to saving money? According to the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances, most get serious about retirement savings between the ages of 25 and 34. On average, those aged 35 have accumulated savings equal to twice their annual salary.

How Much Retirement Savings Should I Have at 35?

By age 35, having twice your annual salary saved for your golden years is a solid goal. If that seems out of reach, you’re not alone. The 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances shows that only some people at age 35 have a retirement stash that big. The median retirement account balance for the 35-44 age group is $60,000.

Remember not to make retirement savings the sole or principal vehicle for investing and building wealth. Homeownership saved for retirement by age forty and other ages also contributes to full social security benefits, with over 61% of adults in this age range owning their primary residence. Some people find ways to generate passive income, like creating a blog or investing in a Roth IRA. 

So, embrace your mid-30s, and keep saving!

Setting Realistic Retirement Savings Goals

Setting retirement savings goals is like managing a baseball team. You need a game plan, and it needs to be realistic. Without it, you might as well be swinging in the dark. 

The level of practicality in terms of average savings can vary greatly depending on individual retirement goals. What may be considered manageable for one person could be a challenging target for another. When considering your circumstances, consider your income, average annual household earnings, and overall financial situation. Remember that the ultimate objective is to achieve a rewarding retirement security, akin to hitting a grand slam.

Then, consider your workplace benefits. Is there a company match on retirement contributions? Look at those savings rates. If the answer is yes, it is crucial to ensure that you are fully capitalizing on the opportunity. It’s like the other team offering you a few free home runs. You’d be foolish to say no. 

It’s also wise to use an income tax-efficient way to save and grow that retirement fund. Be wise with asset allocation. Think base hits and home runs. You need mutual funds and riskier stock investments to realize your retirement savings goals. 

So, put on that cap, grab that bat, and get swinging for a secure future.

Identifying the Ideal Savings Benchmark at 35

At 35, it’s natural to ponder whether your savings are on track. Let’s shed some light on the ideal savings benchmark for your age. The rule of thumb is to have roughly twice your annual salary saved by your mid-thirties. But what truly matters is how you’re enhancing your saving strategy. The ultimate goal of this saving game is to secure a comfortable retirement where you can enjoy peace of mind and financial tranquility. 

Let’s strive for a worry-free post-retirement life where every penny counts, but you never have to count each one.

Essential Steps to Boost Retirement Savings

So, how do you make up for lost time? First, get to the basics—calculating how much you have to put away. Consider your lifestyle, fixed income, future expenses, real estate investing, emergency fund, medical costs, and savings rate. Meticulously hashing out these details reveals what you’ll need in your golden years.

Next, look at strategies to ramp up your savings. Consider maxing out your 401(k) contributions or scouting for better investment returns. A budget check may help. You can cut a few corners and fatten up that retirement piggy bank. Remember, every penny counts for making up for lost time.

Implementing Strategies to Save More Money at 35

Let’s face reality. High-interest debt isn’t your friend at retirement age, so settle that first. Not just because it’s a nuisance but also because it’s slowing down your race to the stock market. Time in the market beats timing the market. So clear any debt to help put yourself on the fast track to retirement.

Aggressively Contributing to Your 401(k)

One widely accepted principle is the significance of optimizing your 401(k) contributions. It’s essentially free money that your employer is providing. Therefore, invest as much as possible and bolster your contributions to capitalize on the maximum company match available.

Making Smart Investment Choices as You Eliminate Debt

There is no greater satisfaction than triumphing over high-interest or student loan debt – a feeling akin to uncorking a champagne bottle as you near the finish line of a race. After achieving this victory, it’s time to maximize your financial potential.

Explore investment possibilities that align with your risk profile—in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds—but remember to conduct thorough research before taking the plunge. Keep in mind the importance of diversification and aim for long-term growth. 

Retirement is about securing a leisurely future, not enduring a budget-constrained one.

Navigating Towards a Secure Retirement

Your retirement plan isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and should be tailored to your needs, desires, and household income. You may come across stories of individuals retiring with a substantial amount of money, but here’s the catch – what works for them may work better for you. You’re not constructing a towering skyscraper but nurturing your little nest egg. 

Refrain from fretting about what others are doing. Stay focused on your game plan.

Ignoring Peer Pressure in Retirement Saving

It’s easier said than done to ignore peer pressure. But when it comes to your retirement savings, it’s crucial to stick to your guns. No matter how good a deal may seem, it is only for you if it fits your financial profile. Some people make big bucks, retire, and save a ton. Meanwhile, others might not have that luxury, and that’s okay. Remember this little nugget: it’s not about how much to save; it’s about saving consistently, day in, day out, regardless of how big or small these savings may be. We’re not racing against anyone else here, folks. It’s you against you; that’s the deal.

Crafting Your Personal Retirement Savings Roadmap at 35

Maintaining financial wellness involves deliberate financial planning, smart savings plans, and canny use of investment tools. The key is to have a realistic stock-take of your income in retirement, figuring out what chunk of your gross annual income you need to put away and how much of a top-up employer contributions to your workplace retirement plan could add.

For those aged 50 or older, now’s the time to invest and boost those contributions. After all, the more you put in now, the less you worry about market volatility shaking things up later.

When doing your financial planning, consider any social security benefits you might be eligible for and consider your risk tolerance. Consider using low-risk index funds if your style differs from high-risk and high-reward.

Your individual financial goals dictate how much money you save for your retirement. Factor in your living expenses and future needs, and you’ll have a clear idea of where you need to be when you decide to hang up your work boots.

Final Thoughts on How Much Retirement Savings Should I Have at 35

You’re not alone when it comes to saving for retirement. While it may appear daunting, think of it as tackling a big task one step at a time. Before you know it, you’ll have achieved your goals and created a financial haven for your future self. Our final thoughts: Keep pushing towards that comfortable retirement awaiting you on the horizon.


  • Scott Hall

    Scott realized about 5 years ago that he was woefully behind on retirement savings and needed to catch up. He began writing about it on

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