How much money you should have saved depends on numerous factors, including your age, lifestyle, and monthly expenses.
For retirement savings, Fidelity Investments recommends that you have at least the equivalent of your annual salary socked away by age 30; three times your salary by 40; six times by 50; and so on until retirement age. (Here are eight things to consider about your 401k before you retire.)
Then there is emergency savings. That is the money set aside for unexpected life events, like a period of unemployment or surprise home repairs or medical bills. Ideally, this rainy-day fund is separate from the money put away for retirement.
Unfortunately, Americans are doing poorly in savings of any kind.
One in four have nothing saved for retirement, and many more are not saving enough for their sunset years, according to PwC’s Retirement in America Report released last year. For emergency savings, most Americans wouldn’t last six months with the money they have set aside, according to state-by-state data on average individual savings, personal consumption, and cost of living.
To determine how long the typical person can live on savings alone in every state, 24/7 Wall St. used savings and personal consumption data to calculate how long the average total savings would last in days. States are ranked by the number of days savings would last.
Data on total savings (meaning for any purpose) in each state came from a 2020 survey from finance outlet SlickDeals. Data on each state’s annual personal consumption expenditures in 2020 came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Median household income data came from the U.S. Census Bureau. Data for Mississippi was not available, and the state was excluded.
The average individual savings account in most of the country would be sufficient to cover living expenses for at least three months. But residents in only three states — Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota — have enough savings to last six months. In other words, outside of these three low-population states, the average American saver would run out of rainy-day money somewhere between three and six months. (Here is how to gradually build wealth using passive investing.)
Among the top 10 most populous states, where more than half of the country’s population reside, the average individual savings account in Georgia and Pennsylvania would last for about five-and-a-half months. In California, Florida, Ohio, and Illinois, these savings would be tapped out between the third and fourth month.
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