What You Can Do to Boost Your Savings at 30, 40, 50 & 65

By Myles Leva


Last Updated: June 11, 2022



Looking to boost your savings? How much should you really have?

Experian released a guide to how much individuals should have in savings by certain ages.

To start, they suggest that you should have your exact annual salary saved when you hit 30. So, if you make $60,000 per year, you should have $60,000 in your savings account on your 30th birthday.

Of course, life throws all sorts of surprises at us. Even without any nasty surprises, savings often have to take a back seat to basic expenses, most of which have been rising quickly recently, outpacing inflation and average income changes.

Regardless of why you may not have the savings you feel you should at your age, it’s always important to reassess your finances and work with what you have. So, in this article, we will simply go over what you can do to boost your savings at certain ages if you have none.



No Savings at 30

There’s no point making a lecture out of any of the situations we are going over, starting with having no savings at 30.

Lots of people don’t have any money leftover in their 20s, and while 30 begins with a “3”, it isn’t a magical number that changes the reality of most young adults.

Entry-level salaries are normally low, and it’s normal to have less in the way of savings potential at 30. If you haven’t saved anything yet, there are a few things that finance experts broadly agree you should do:

  • Remember that you’re only 12 years into adulthood and you have plenty of time
  • Prioritize emergency savings funds before investing
  • Contribute to an IRA and a 401(k), if you can
  • When you have adequate savings, don’t shy away from a riskier investment portfolio
  • Focus on paying off debt (and view paying off debt as an investment)

As you earn more, all of the above will naturally become easier. But for now, you’re less than 20% of the way through the average American’s life as an adult and have relatively little to panic over.



No Savings at 40

It’s not time to go into a complete panic yet, but it’s time to become more prudent.

At 40, having no savings can be nerve-wracking, but there’s still plenty of time. If you have been working for the last 20 years, you’re likely starting to reach your lifetime peak income as well. In this case, view your 40s as a second chance or a new opportunity. You still have 27 years left to retirement…

If you haven’t, you should immediately create a budget. You need to start tracking where every single cent goes every month. For this, you can use a free budget app on your phone.

This makes it easy to record all your spending on the go. In the end, you’ll be left with the knowledge of how much and what percentage of your income goes where.

You will need to commit a reasonable part of the next couple of decades to aggressive savings. But it’s not all bad news…

If you can set aside just $500 per month for just 10 years, that’s $60,000.

If you invest it in an index fund that gets you a very modest 6% annual return, that’s $289,340.76 when you reach 67.

Of course, if you can do better in terms of investment amount and if you can get even half a percent higher in average returns, you can easily end up with far more.



No Retirement Savings at 50

At this point, you should be worried. But your worry should simply propel you into action, as it’s still well worth it to build up savings.

However, you will need to consider postponing retirement while you try to make the best of your situation:

  • Open a retirement savings account if you don’t have one and start one with your employer
  • Get a new job at a larger corporation if you can, as they are far more likely to offer a 401(k) with employer matching
  • Start budgeting and saving far more aggressively
  • Cut out the vast majority of spending that isn’t absolutely necessary
  • Consider downsizing your home or moving to a cheaper apartment if you’re still renting
  • Consult financial experts (another potential benefit of working for a well-established, large company)



No Retirement Savings at 65

If you have no retirement savings at 65, you will need to work longer. Beyond that, there are a few important steps to take:

  1. Maximize your government benefits
  2. Start contributing to retirement accounts
  3. Downsize

When you work longer, you can increase your social security payouts. If you don’t have any savings so far, social security will likely end up becoming the biggest part of your finances.

In fact, if you wait until 70 to start taking social security, you will benefit from delayed retirement credits.

You get delayed retirement credits for each month you delay filing for your social security benefits. The longer you wait, the more substantial those benefits become (and they are truly substantial).

When it comes to retirement accounts, you can contribute to a regular IRA until you are 70, and do a Roth IRA for the rest of your life.

However, even if you make these changes and all the changes we’ve discussed above, the reality is that you will probably have to downsize your retirement lifestyle.

So, you can make a budget that includes delayed social security benefits and a low retirement income.



Boost Your Savings at Any Age

It’s always best to take full advantage of the window of time you have between the present and your retirement.

However, there is always something more you can do to improve your situation. That’s true even when you’re well into your 60s without any retirement savings.

It certainly will be difficult and will almost certainly be quite uncomfortable, but it’s always worth it to take full advantage of the resources at your disposal as well.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska


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