This Is the Average 60-Something's Cash Savings Balance

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  • It's important to have a decent chunk of money in cash during your 60s.
  • Having cash savings on hand for retirement could protect you from losses in your investment portfolio.
  • On average, those in their 60s have $72,834 tucked away in their savings accounts.

Have you saved as much as your peers?

By the time you reach your 60s, retirement may be right around the corner. Many people choose to leave the workforce during their 60s, and that's actually when you're entitled to your full monthly benefit from Social Security.

But it's important to approach retirement with a decent level of cash savings. The reason? Once you retire, you'll probably rely on your IRA or 401(k) to pay some of your expenses. But the bulk of your IRA or 401(k) may be invested in stocks, bonds, and other assets whose value can fluctuate based on market conditions.

What you don't want to do during retirement is liquidate investments at a time when their value has dropped. Doing so means locking in losses and putting yourself at risk of depleting your nest egg prematurely.

That's why it's a good idea to have a decent amount of cash during your 60s. And if you're curious as to how you're doing compared to your peers, recent data from Personal Capital could give you an answer.

What does the typical 60-something have saved?

The average cash savings balance among people in their 60s is $72,834. That may seem like a lot of money to have in cash. And earlier in life, it may be.

But as a general rule, when you're already retired or retiring soon, it's good to have enough money in cash to cover one to two years' worth of living expenses. That way, you can potentially ride out a market downturn without selling investments at a bad time.

So let's say you have around $72,000 in your savings account, and you spend $4,000 a month on living costs (and expect to keep doing that in retirement). In that case, you have 18 months' worth of expenses in cash, which means you're in pretty good shape.

Of course, you may also have some of your IRA or 401(k) in cash, and that money can count toward your retirement emergency cash reserves, too. So, let's say you spend $4,000 a month but only have $48,000 in cash savings. That's a year's worth of bills, which is on the lower end of what you'll typically need. But you may also have another $50,000 in cash in your IRA or 401(k), in which case you should be fine.

Should you put spare cash into savings during your 60s?

If your savings could use a little boost, then it pays to pad your cash reserves. But don't forget that IRAs and 401(k)s offer tax benefits, unlike a savings account. Traditional IRAs and 401(k)s, in fact, give you a tax break on the money you contribute to your account, and that's a perk you don't want to pass up. So if you're still working at this point during your 60s, go ahead and try to max out your IRA or 401(k), or get as close as possible.

Remember, you can put money into an IRA or 401(k) that you leave sitting in cash. And if you're in your 60s, you're old enough to withdraw from one of these accounts penalty-free. That means you don't have to stress about that cash not being available to you in a savings account.

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