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How Much Should I Save? Thumbnail

How Much Should I Save?

By Mike Earl & Ben Thorson

As you build your net worth, your savings rate is the #1 tool in your arsenal. So, how much should you invest for retirement each year?

We have long been fans of Vanguard's annual report titled, "How America Saves". We last wrote about that Vanguard report in this 2018 blog post. Vanguard hosts 401k plans for ~ 5 million Americans, so the report is a treasure trove of interesting data (for nerds like us).

Many of our clients know we provide them with "benchmarking data" as part of our client service process. The data answers the question of what their peers are doing in their financial lives. It's our in-house version of the Vanguard report, specific to our clients.

This process aggregates a wide range of client data points (income, savings rate, portfolio value, net worth, and more) -- and seeks to distill that data in easy-to-understand charts. Think of it as sabermetrics for financial planning.

Let's dig into that data (hat tip to Ben Thorson for the charts below; he's our in-house data analytics wiz). The circles in the charts below represent actual client data points, while the orange line provides the trend line (an average of all data points).

Disclaimer: each client's financial situation is unique! Averages are merely averages and may not apply to your situation. This is why we provide tailored advice to each client. 😊


  • The average retirement savings rate for TWG clients ranges from 17 - 19%.
  • This figure is nearly 3 times the median retirement savings rate inside Vanguard 401k plans. Kudos to our clients on excellent savings rates!
  • Many qualifiers impact a family's savings rate, including number of children, private vs. public education, local cost of living, and more. 


  • The average Wealth Group client crosses $1,000,000 in their portfolio at age 50 (this figure excludes illiquid assets, such as real estate).
  • By age 30, the average Wealth Group client has surpassed $200,000 of investment dollars -- an impressive feat!
  • This data is only for "accumulation mode" clients: those clients actively saving and working toward Financial Independence.


  • At age 40, the average Wealth Group client has a portfolio value that is 2 times their income.
  • For example, a 40-year old couple that earns $300,000 in joint income should have reached a portfolio value of $600,000 at that time.
  • By age 55, we see that Wealth Group clients have attained a liquid portfolio that is nearly 5 times their income.
  • Thus, a 55-year old client with a household income of $400,000 should be nearing $2,000,000 of invested assets.

If you want to talk to our team about your own financial situation, schedule a phone call or Zoom meeting here. We are here to help!