How much does the average 70-year-old have in savings? According to data from the Federal Reserve, the average amount of retirement savings for 65- to 74-year-olds is just north of $426,000.

While it’s an interesting data point, your specific retirement savings may be different from someone else’s. The better question to ask might be, how much savings do you need to be comfortable in retirement?


The ideal retirement plan involves generating multiple streams of income to provide both stability and tax flexibility in retirement. Here are a few potential components of a well-diversified retirement plan:

  • Cash savings. Having liquid cash reserves in a high-yield savings account is a good safety net for retirees.

  • Retirement accounts. 401(k)s and traditional IRAs, which are funded by pre-tax contributions, can significantly boost your retirement savings. On the flip side, Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s, which are funded with after-tax dollars, can help you manage your taxable income in retirement.

In addition to savings and investments, you can also tap into various sources of guaranteed income in retirement. Guaranteed income streams are insulated from market volatility, making them safer and more reliable.

  • Income annuities. Similar to Social Security and pensions, annuities provide fixed monthly income. Because you often receive those payments for life, they reduce the risk of outliving your savings in retirement.

  • Whole life insurance. In addition to protecting your loved ones, a permanent life insurance policy accumulates cash value over time. Because it’s guaranteed to grow, this accumulated value can also serve as a cash reserve or a source of income, particularly during market corrections or recessions.


No matter how much money you save for retirement, it’ll only go as far as your lifestyle allows. Think about what you want from retirement and whether your current savings rate can realistically support that vision, based on conservative assumptions about risk and future returns. If not, you may need to tweak your savings strategy or compromise to adjust your expectations.

As you determine your retirement savings target, the 4-percent rule can be a good starting point — though it’s not a comprehensive plan. This is simply a general rule that recommends withdrawing 4 percent from your savings during your first year of retirement. You then continue to withdraw the same amount each year, plus a little extra to account for inflation.

Your retirement savings plan should be tailored to your unique goals and financial situation. A financial advisor can help you create a plan that works for you.

Income annuities have no cash value. Once issued, this annuity cannot be terminated (surrendered), and the premium paid for the annuity is not refundable and cannot be withdrawn. The primary purpose of permanent life insurance is to provide a death benefit. Using permanent life insurance accumulated value to supplement retirement income will reduce the death benefit and may affect other aspects of the policy.

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