How much workers need to save to feel secure in retirement

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When it comes to retirement savings, how much is enough in order to feel financially secure?

The median answer across workers of all ages is $500,000, according to research from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

But that figure varied somewhat across generations. While the median number for Gen Z and Gen X was $500,000, millennials said $300,000 and baby boomers were at $750,000.

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When asked how they calculate their retirement savings needs, the most common reply among the survey respondents was that they guessed, with 43%. Meanwhile, 38% said they based their estimate on their current living expenses and 25% said they used a calculator or worksheet.

Others based their estimates on expected earnings or investments, at 23%; advice they had read or heard, 15%; or an amount suggested to them by a financial advisor, 15%. (Another 4% of respondents did not cite a specific reason.)

The research also found that 82% of workers are saving for retirement through employer-sponsored efforts such as 401(k) plans. Meanwhile, 68% are saving for retirement outside of work through individual retirement accounts, mutual funds or other accounts.

Yet many workers still have a ways to go before they reach their goal.

The estimated median total household retirement savings among all workers is $93,000. Baby boomers have an estimated median of $202,000, while Gen X have about $107,000, millennials have $68,000 and Gen Z has $26,000.

The research was prepared by the Transamerica Institute and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies based on an online survey conducted between November and December. It included 10,192 respondents ages 18 and up who were full- or part-time employees.

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