How much money have America’s 30-somethings actually saved? Finally, they speak

  • Written by MarketWatch
  • Published in Economics
image Courtesy of Mark Connors
The Connors family is finding low-cost activities to do, in order to save more for retirement.

Will you ever be able to stop working? These 30-somethings are planning ahead.

Twitter TWTR, +0.33%[1] blew up last week after MarketWatch posted a story about saving for retirement[2] in your 30s. The piece cited a Fidelity Investments study, which suggested Americans save twice their annual salary for retirement by the age of 35, a figure that would — if continually contributed to — make up 45% of that individual’s income in retirement.

Older millennials criticized the guidance, saying it was impossible for most people to do. Some said saving anything for retirement[3] was a struggle.

Young Americans’ savings vary. Just half (47%) of working millennials have $15,000 or more in savings[4], while only 16% have $100,000 or more in savings, according to recent Bank of America’s “Better Money Habits” report, which surveyed 2,000 millennials aged 23 to 37. The bank asked about the total amount of savings, including bank savings/checking accounts, IRA, 401(k) and other retirement or investment accounts.

Rex Nutting: Millennials haven’t quite saved two years’ worth of salary — try one week[5]

MarketWatch spoke with a group of people in their 30s about their goals. They depict a variety of backgrounds. Some are married with children, others are single. They’ve had or have student debt, families and emergencies that have been a drain on their resources. Others have bought a home. But they’re saving, even if they admit they’ve made sacrifices as a result.

Also see: Think saving for retirement is unrealistic? Try retiring with no savings[6]

Don’t miss: How the ‘By 35’ meme mutated from sharp commentary on the retirement crisis to literally whatever[7]

Here’s what some 30-somethings had to say about their own ability (or not) to save:

image Courtesy of Mat Burridge
Mat Burridge and his family have scaled back on vacations to save for retirement.

Name: Mat Burridge

Age: 32

Location: Hannibal, N.Y.

Profession: Sixth-grade teacher and sports coach

Marital status: Married with three children

What he’s saved: Burridge makes a salary of $55,000, plus several thousand more during sports seasons. He has saved $40,000 in a 403(b), $6,000 in a Roth IRA, plus he has an entitlement to a teachers’ pension. He will receive 68% of his salary, for the rest of his life. He will be entitled...

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