Magnify Money asks How Much Does the Average American Have in Savings?

The question is irrelevant. The story is how unprepared the median person is prepared for retirement. On that score, the article does explain.


  1. The average American household has $175,510 worth of savings in bank accounts and retirement savings accounts as of June 2018.
  2. The median American household currently holds about $11,700 across these same types of accounts.
  3. The top 1% of households (as measured by income) have an average of $2,495,930 in these various saving accounts. The bottom 20% have an average of $8,720.
  4. Roughly 83% of savings are in located in retirement accounts like IRAs and workplace-sponsored retirement savings plans like 401(k)s.
  5. Millennials, who have just started their savings journey, have currently socked away an average of $24,820. Gen Xers have $125,560 in retirement savings. Baby boomers and those born before 1946 have an average of $274,910.
  6. 29% of households have less than $1,000 in savings.

Point number 2 is the most relevant point. 50% of household have less than $11,700 in savings.

Averages Lie

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What's wrong with averages? The Skew!

Average and Median Savings by Income Level

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The top 1% of income earners have an average savings of $2.53 million and a median savings of $1.16 million.

That average affects people with no savings.

The median savings for 40% of households is zero. The "average" varies by income group but it is much higher.

The "middle" (40-60% of wage earners) median savings is $34,020 but the average is $65,830.

Age Level

This is where the stats get truly depressing.

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The average "boomer" headed into or in retirement has $274,910 in savings.

What's wrong with that?

Well, 50% of boomers have less than $24,280 saved up.

Averages lie.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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