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How Much Money to Have Saved by Age 50

Editor’s Note: APYs listed in this article are up-to-date as of the time of publication. They may fluctuate (up or down) as the Fed rate changes. CNBC will update as changes are made public.

They say your 50th birthday is a milestone one, but it may feel like a lot. You’re at the height of responsibility: kids, a mortgage, college, impending retirement. No matter whether your goals have stayed on path or gone a bit off track, approaching 50 has its financial challenges for everyone.

If you have been building a family over the last decade or so, the support you’ve given to your children — food, school, housing expenses — can make a big dent in any savings you had set aside over the years. And by age 50, you’ve probably navigated your fair share of life’s curve balls.

But if you want to remain focused on retiring at 67, it takes some discipline in the years ahead. In fact, according to retirement-plan provider Fidelity Investments, you should have 6 times your income saved by age 50 in order to leave the workforce at 67.

Learn more: Here’s how much money you should have saved at every age

Although this guideline includes your retirement contributions and your investments, in addition to any cash savings, for many it can still be a difficult goal to reach. In a 2020 TD Ameritrade report, surveying 2,000 U.S. adults ages 40 to 79 with at least $25,000 in investable assets, nearly two-thirds of 40-somethings have less than $100,000 in retirement savings.

To think ahead if you are not yet close to your 50th birthday, or to dial back on your spending if you are, CNBC Select looks at how to save during these busy years.

How to preserve your savings as you near age 50

A 2018 “Financial Journey of Modern Parenting” report by Merrill Lynch found that 72% of the 2,500-plus American parents surveyed said that they had put their children’s interests ahead of their own need to save for retirement.

While parents need to support their children in their early stages, teaching them about money as they get older can help prevent your retirement savings from running dry. As they grow, you can equip them with the basic financial tools they need, like a checking and savings account, to help them establish financial independence.

If you have a student in your family (high school, college or vocational programs), consider helping them open a student checking account so that they learn about spending and saving early.

The Capital One MONEY Checking Account, which CNBC Select ranked best for teens, is a good starter account. Any child 8 to 18 can be a joint account holder with their parent or legal guardian and there is no minimum to open an account. Account holders also earn 0.10% APY on all balances. To monitor their kids’ spending, parents and legal guardians on the account can set up text alerts and email notifications for card transactions and account activity.

Capital One MONEY Checking Account

Capital One MONEY Checking Account

Information about the Capital One MONEY Checking Account has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Capital One is a Member FDIC.

  • Monthly maintenance fee

  • Minimum deposit to open

  • Minimum balance

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

  • Free ATM network

    39,000+ Capital One® and Allpoint® ATMs

  • ATM fee reimbursement

  • Overdraft fee

  • Mobile check deposit

Pros

  • Top-rated mobile app
  • No minimum deposit to open an account
  • 0.10% APY on all account balances
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Parents can set up text alerts and email notifications for account activity
  • No. 4 on J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. National Banking Satisfaction Study

Cons

  • Must switch accounts at 18
  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees

For your college student, consider looking into the Chase College Checking℠ Account. The account comes with zero monthly service fees for up to five years (after, the monthly fee is $6, which can be waived) and no deposit requirements. New account holders can currently earn $100 after completing 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of their account opening and take advantage of quick transactions at one of Chase’s 16,000 fee-free ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches across the U.S.

Chase College Checking℠

Chase College Checking℠

Information about the Chase College Checking℠ Account has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the bank prior to publication. Chase is a Member FDIC.

  • Monthly maintenance fee

    $0 for college students 17 to 24

  • Minimum deposit to open

  • Minimum balance

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

  • Free ATM network

  • ATM fee reimbursement

  • Overdraft fee

  • Mobile check deposit

Pros

  • Top-rated mobile app
  • No minimum deposit to open an account
  • New account holders can earn a $100 bonus, valid until 10/08/2020
  • No. 2 on J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. National Banking Satisfaction Study

Cons

  • $34 overdraft fee
  • No APY
  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees

Bottom line

In the decades before retirement, start helping your kids step towards financial independence. As they do, focus intently on your savings so that you can get as close as possible to having 6 times your income set aside by age 50.

Make an effort to continue living within your means so that, as your income increases, your spending stays the same — leaving more to go toward your retirement contributions each year.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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