I'm 45 Years Old. How Much Should I Have in Savings?

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page. APY = Annual Percentage Yield. APYs are subject to change at any time without notice.

KEY POINTS

  • You should have enough money in the bank to cover at least three full months of bills.
  • You should also have about 4.5 times your salary in a retirement plan.

The number depends on what you spend and what you earn.

Age 45 is an interesting one. You're maybe a bit too old to be staying out till 3:00 a.m. with your buddies, but you're probably not quite ready to start meeting up for dinner at 5:30 p.m. so you can make sure you're in bed by 9:00 p.m.

Age 45 is also an important one financially. At this point, you're probably halfway through your career, which means retirement should be on your radar. And if you have kids, you may be starting to think about (or worry about) paying for college.

So how much savings should you have by age 45? It depends on how much you spend each month and how much you earn each year.

What your savings account balance should look like by age 45

As a general rule, you should have a robust enough emergency fund to cover a full three months of bills. But you may want to aim higher.

Our Picks for the Best High-Yield Savings Accounts of 2024

APY
4.25%
Rate info Circle with letter I in it. 4.25% annual percentage yield as of July 20, 2024
Min. to earn
$1
APY
4.50%
Min. to earn
$0.01
APY
5.10%
Min. to earn
$0

See, the point of having enough money in your savings account to pay for three months of expenses is to get you through a period of unemployment (and also, to cover other unexpected expenses that might arise). But by age 45, you probably won't want to take any old job if you lose yours. Rather, you might have specific needs. And you'll want the flexibility to spend more time looking if the right fit doesn't materialize within three months.

That's why having enough savings to cover six months' worth of essential bills is really a better bet by age 45. It could take the pressure off if you're let go at work, or if major home repairs start to pop up as your house ages.

What your retirement plan balance should look like by age 45

If you're 45 years old, retirement isn't exactly right around the corner. But it's also not so far away. And so at this point, you should ideally have a decent chunk of money saved up in an IRA or 401(k).

Fidelity says that by age 40, you should aim to have three times your salary socked away for retirement, and by age 50, you should aim to have six times your salary. So if we meet those figures down the middle, it means that by age 45, you should ideally have 4.5 times your salary set aside for retirement. If you earn $90,000 a year, it means you're in good shape if you have $405,000.

That said, many people's retirement plans lost money in 2022 due to stock market volatility. So if you had 4.5 times your salary before the market took a dive, but you have a lower balance now, don't worry -- you're still in good shape, and once the market rebounds, your balance might climb back up.

What to do if you're behind on savings

Whether you're behind on regular savings, retirement savings, or both, it may be time to make some lifestyle changes. That could mean taking a closer look at your spending and finding ways to cut back on non-essential expenses, like takeout meals and subscriptions. Along these lines, if you commonly take a vacation every year that costs your family $5,000, you may want to opt for a staycation for the next few years and bank that money instead.

By age 45, you should be in a good place with regard to both emergency and retirement savings. If that's not the case, all definitely isn't lost. But it is time to get serious about buckling down and make savings your priority.

These savings accounts are FDIC insured and could earn you 14x your bank

Many people are missing out on guaranteed returns as their money languishes in a big bank savings account earning next to no interest. Our picks of the best online savings accounts could earn you 14x the national average savings account rate. Click here to uncover the best-in-class accounts that landed a spot on our short list of the best savings accounts for 2024.

Two of our top online savings account picks:

Rates as of Jul 20, 2024 Ratings Methodology
Advertisement
American Express® High Yield Savings Citizens Access® Savings
Member FDIC. Member FDIC.
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.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
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.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor

APY: 4.25%

Rate info Circle with letter I in it. 4.25% annual percentage yield as of July 20, 2024

APY: 4.50%

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $0.01

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow