“How much money should I have saved by age 35?”

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Here’s this month’s New Jersey personal finance question: “I’m 35 years old. How much should I be saving?”

According to the Federal Reserve, the average amount of retirement savings for someone ages 35-44 is $141,520 (2023).

Saving money is hard and can be frustrating, but we caution against “doom spending,” or using small amounts of savings on consumption instead of putting it aside for what may seem like an unattainable milestone. Don’t give up before you even get started! Remember you have to start somewhere and every little bit counts. Moreover, it’s important to maintain healthy savings habits no matter where you are in your journey.

Consider going by the 50/30/20 rule, which suggests directing 50% of your income for your needs, 30% for your wants, and 20% for your savings.  However, this may not be reasonable for someone with a moderate income and/or significant student debt.

At a minimum, you should save 10% of your income, and this should increase as you approach retirement. No more than one third of your income should be spent on housing. This is generally your biggest expense – make prudent choices here, as it will have a direct impact on your ability to save money.

If you have any questions, send me a message.



Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. 2023. 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances. https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/scfindex.htm

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. 2023. Survey of Consumer Finances, 1989-2022. Retirement accounts by reference age of reference person. https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/scf/dataviz/scf/table/#series:Retirement_Accounts;demographic:agecl;population:all;units:mean;range:1989,2019

Grace, Asia. (2023, December 18th). New York Post. “Doom spending” is how everyone is dealing with stress. https://nypost.com/2023/12/18/lifestyle/gen-z-millennials-are-doom-spending-to-cope-with-economy/

Jones, Jenn and Tepper, Taylor. (2024, January 24th). USA Today. Average savings by age. https://www.usatoday.com/money/blueprint/banking/savings/average-savings-by-age/

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