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How much should I have saved for retirement by 60?

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Maskot/Getty Images/Maskot

Your 60s can be an exciting time. You may be nearing the end of your career and preparing to enjoy the well-earned fruits of your hard work in retirement. Or you might be planning to work beyond conventional retirement age, either in your current job or in a new dream job. Whatever you’ve mapped out for your retirement journey, you may be wondering if you’ve saved enough to cover your lifestyle. Read on for guidance on how much to save, and advice on how to boost your savings in the upcoming years.

How much should I have saved for retirement by age 60?

We recommend that by the age of 60, you have about eight times your current salary saved for retirement. So, if you earn $75,000 a year, you would have between $525,000 to $600,000 in retirement savings by 60.

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Aim to have 7-8 times your salary saved by age 60. Keep saving for as long as it takes to meet your savings goal.
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How do you know if this is the right amount for you?

Think of it as a general guideline. Your plans and goals for retirement are unique to you, so it’s best to start with a clear understanding of how much you will need to cover your expenses in retirement.  And don’t underestimate how much you will actually spend.

Here are four questions to ask yourself before plotting out a retirement budget:

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When will you retire?
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What lifestyle do you want?
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Where will you live?
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How much debt do you have?

1. When will you retire?

The recommendation for 7-8 times your salary assumes you're retiring at full retirement age. If you plan on retiring earlier than that, you will need more savings.

2. What kind of lifestyle do you want?

Do you dream about traveling extensively, taking up new hobbies, or being generous with loved ones or your favorite causes? If so, you may need to increase your savings amount.

3. Where do you want to live?

If you plan to move after you retire, be sure to research the cost of living and applicable tax laws where you plan to live. You'll want to plan for a cost of living relative to where you are now.

4. How much debt will you carry into retirement?

If you’re intentional about how you use it, debt can be used smartly as an investment into something meaningful to you. On the other hand, if you accumulate too much of it, debt can hold you back from achieving what you really want in your retirement. A financial advisor can help you make mindful decisions about the debt you will carry into retirement.

Calculate your expected budget using retirement income sources

Once you have a clear picture of your ideal retirement from the questions above, you will need to consider ways to help ensure you will have enough income to cover your expenses. Estimating what you’ll have coming in each month can provide you with the assurance that you’ll be able to retire comfortably or give you the opportunity to adjust now to increase your savings.

Consider the following four sources of retirement income, and then use a retirement income calculator for a personalized result:

1. How much Social Security will you get if you retire in your 60s?

You’re eligible to claim your Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but that reduces the amount you’ll receive. If you wait until full retirement age (either 66 or 67, depending on your birth year), you’ll get 100% of your benefits. And if you can wait until you’re 70 years old, you can make the most of Social Security by receiving between 124%-132% of your benefits.

Visit to get an estimate of your benefits as they stand today.

2. How much do you have in your retirement savings plans?

Common retirement savings plans, like 401(k)s, 403(b)s and 457(b)s and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are some of the best ways to build your retirement budget.

You will need to think about when you want to start taking income from these sources. Many of them will be subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs) at a specific age, but you can start taking penalty-free withdrawals as early as age 59½.

3. Do you have a pension?

Though it's becoming less common, some people might have pension income from their careers. Pensions guarantee a specific benefit amount based on a worker’s income and years of service to the employer. If you do have a pension, be sure to factor that into your calculations as a source of guaranteed income.

4. Do you have a permanent life insurance policy with cash value?

The primary purpose of life insurance is death benefit protection, but there are other ways permanent insurance can be used. If you no longer need the full amount of death benefit protection, you could opt to receive payments from the contract’s cash value to supplement your other income sources. And a portion of those payments potentially would be tax-free. Permanent life insurance could be a valuable option to consider as you assess your retirement plan assets.

Have you considered the tax impact to your retirement plan?

In the Thrivent Retirement Readiness Survey*, respondents said that the most valuable piece of advice they would have given their younger selves would be to learn about tax implications for their retirement savings.

Many of your retirement income sources will be taxed once you start withdrawing the money in retirement. Even Social Security benefits may be subject to taxation. A high tax bill could have a substantial impact on your nest egg, especially if many of these accounts you are relying on are taxed at the same time.

This is where the concept of income tax diversification comes in. It involves investing in a variety of tax-advantaged accounts to help minimize how you’re taxed on those accounts now and in the future. This concept advocates that you should diversify your holdings into three different buckets: tax now, tax later and tax never.

  • "Tax now" accounts are ones in which you've paid taxes on upfront. These types of accounts are typically suited for current or short-term needs. Examples of "tax now" accounts include checking accounts, savings accounts and mutual funds.
  • "Tax later", or tax deferred, assets are ones where your tax liability will come once you withdraw funds. "Tax later" assets are generally earmarked for longer-term needs, like college and retirement. Examples of "tax later" accounts include 401(k)s, traditional IRAs, variable annuities and fixed annuities.
  • "Tax never" or tax-free assets generally offer preferential income-tax treatment on the accumulated value and distribution of funds. Examples include Roth IRAs, Roth 401(k)s and life insurance.
The most valuable piece of advice retirees would have given their younger selves would be to learn about tax implications for their retirement savings.
2022 Thrivent Retirement Readiness Survey

Ways to boost your retirement savings in your 60s

If you feel uncertain about how prepared you are for retirement, you’re not alone. Only 5% of near retirees said they have everything planned out and are fully ready for retirement, according to the Thrivent survey. And 44% say they’ve done only minimal planning. But it’s not too late. Here are some great ways to catch up on your retirement savings and renew your commitment to your retirement goals:

Take advantage of catch-up contributions

If you’re 50 or older, one of the best tools at your disposal is catch-up contributions to your retirement accounts. From age 50 on, you’re allowed to put more than the maximum contribution into your retirement accounts to help boost to your savings. Higher contributions can help reduce your taxable income.

Contribution limits and catch-up contribution maximums vary greatly by the type of plan, as shown here.

Plan type
Contribution limit if age 50 or older
Large employer-sponsored retirement plans: 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), and SARSEP
2023: $30,000
2024: $30,500
Small business retirement plans: SIMPLE 401(k), SIMPLE IRA
2023: $19,000
2024: $19,500
Individual retirement accounts:
Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA

2023: $7,500
2024: $8,000

Secure Act 2.0 & catch-up contributions

Great news for savers 60 and older. The SECURE Act 2.0, passed in late December 2022, added a special catch-up for workers aged 60 to 63. Beginning in 2024, you can contribute either $10,000 or 150% of the standard catch-up amount, whichever is more. Beginning in 2026, the $10,000 amount will be indexed for inflation.

The legislation also mandates that beginning in 2024, all catch-up amounts for people who earned over $145,000 in the previous year must be deposited into a Roth account. The earning amount will be adjusted for inflation starting in 2025.

If you have a traditional IRA or 401(k), consider if a Roth IRA conversion makes sense

A Roth IRA conversion involves taking a tax-deferred retirement savings account, like a traditional IRA or 401(k), and moving that money into a Roth IRA, which won’t be taxed again after you pay taxes on the amount you convert.

Roth conversions can be a great way to build tax diversification into your retirement savings. Ideally, you want the timing in which you owe taxes on your various accounts to vary so your tax burden isn’t too great at one period of time.

Roth conversions also help alleviate concerns of future tax rates, because you pay taxes you convert and won’t need to predict your future tax rates.1

Downsize your expenses

During the last few years of your career, you might want to consider what expenses you could trim from your budget. Simple things like canceling gym memberships and subscriptions, dining out less or taking public transit more often could help increase your retirement savings.

You also can use this time to test out your retirement lifestyle. If you think you're going to downsize to a smaller house, why not move a little earlier? The amount you save on utilities, property taxes and other expenses could go a long way toward slowing down your cash outlay.

Delay retirement

If you’re behind on your original investment goals, you might consider putting off retirement. Each extra year that you earn a paycheck is another year you can put money aside and not draw down your savings. It's also a chance to delay Social Security to increase your eventual payout—that is, until you max out your benefits at age 70.

4.8.53 Can you have multiple HSAs?
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Are you on track to meet your retirement goals?

Whether retirement is a ways out or fast approaching, now’s a good time to plan for it. Our free calculator provides an easy way to check your progress and help hone your strategy.

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Does your retirement plan account for the risks to your savings?

To reach retirement with your dreams intact, you’ll need foresight and a willingness to plan for roadblocks along the way. After all, no journey is predictable. At this stage of life, it’s smart to account for the risks to the savings you’ve worked hard to put into place.

Work with a financial advisor to:

  • Build some hedges against high tax rates and inflation, which can throw you a curveball when you’re anticipating a fixed income.
  • Explore solutions that guarantee you don’t outlive your money.
  • Adjust your risk tolerance to help shield against market volatility.
  • Protect against the real risk of a health care event draining your savings

Whatever you see for yourself in this exciting next stage of life, you want to be confident that you’ll have the means to sustain that vision. Find a local Thrivent financial advisor who understands your core values and can help create a retirement plan tailored to fit your needs.

*Methodology: This research was conducted in June 2022 among a national sample of 1,500 adults in order to measure their sentiments, financial planning, knowledge, and issues regarding retirement. The interviews were conducted online and the data was broken into three sample groups; Saving, Nearing, and Retired. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

1State tax rules may differ from federal rules governing the tax treatment of Roth IRAs and there may be conflicts between federal and state tax treatment of IRA conversions. Consult your tax professional for your state's tax rules.

Thrivent and its financial advisors and professionals do not provide legal, accounting or tax advice. Consult your attorney or tax professional.

Thrivent financial advisors and professionals have general knowledge of the Social Security tenets. For complete details on your situation, contact the Social Security Administration.