I'm 35 Years Old. How Much Should I Have in Savings?

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KEY POINTS

  • You should aim for enough savings to cover unexpected expenses and at least three months of essential bills.
  • You should also be making progress on your retirement savings.

The quick answer? It all hinges on your personal expenses and income.

By age 35, you'll ideally have the whole adulting thing down to a science. And maybe you'll even be in a place where you're able to save money consistently.

But how much savings should you have by age 35? Well, that depends on your living expenses, and also, how much money you earn.

What your savings account balance should look like by age 35

As a general rule, you should have enough money set aside for emergencies to cover at least three full months of essential expenses. And so the amount of money you need in your savings account will hinge on what your monthly bills look like.

Let's say that between your various essential bills, you spend $4,000 a month. That means you should have a minimum emergency fund of $12,000.

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However, you may want to aim higher. By age 35, you might have dependents, a mortgage, and a home to maintain. So the more financial protection you're able to give yourself, the better.

In fact, some financial experts actually advise building an emergency fund with up to 12 months' worth of savings. So if you want more peace of mind, run the numbers, see what you spend each month, and then multiply that figure by up to 12, if you can swing it.

What your retirement plan balance should look like by age 35

By age 35, you shouldn't just be looking at a decent chunk of money in your savings account. You should also have a nice sum of money in an IRA or 401(k).

While retirement might still be several decades away, it's important to start building up a nest egg at a relatively young age. And also, the sooner you start putting your money into a retirement plan, the sooner you can start investing it so it grows into a larger sum.

Fidelity says that by age 30, you should aim to have the equivalent of your annual salary in a retirement plan. By age 40, you should have three times your salary. So by age 35, your goal should be to have 1.5 times your salary socked away. If you earn $80,000 a year, that means you should, ideally, have $120,000 in your IRA or 401(k).

Now, it's worth noting that a lot of retirement plan balances lost money in 2022 due to stock market volatility. So if you had 1.5 times your salary before the market tanked, but you have a little less now, don't worry -- you're still in good shape.

What to do if you're behind

Whether you're behind on regular savings, retirement savings, or both, the answer is really the same -- start putting the process on autopilot. If you arrange to have money move from your checking account to your different savings accounts, you might get back on track more easily. And if that doesn't work, examine your spending and look to cut back on expenses that aren't essential.

Having adequate savings is important at any age. And by age 35, it's certainly a good thing to have your financial house in order.

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Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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= Excellent
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APY: 4.25%

Rate info Circle with letter I in it. 4.25% annual percentage yield as of July 18, 2024

APY: 4.50%

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $0.01

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