How to retire at 60
Join us as we unpack how to retire at 60, covering whether it’s feasible, how much money you need, average savings, and how to save for entering your golden years earlier than the average American.
Retirement at 60 is one year below the average retirement age.
Most Americans would struggle to retire at 60, but it’s not an unachievable goal.
You can take early retirement if you plan and save appropriately.
A financial advisor can help you plan your dream retirement and create a financial plan to get you there.
The average American retired at age 57 in 1991. Today, the average retirement age in the US is 61 – and the average age of non-retired Americans has increased from 1995’s 60 to the current 66.
What if you were to buck the trend by a year? With careful planning, it’s possible to say goodbye to full-time employment before reaching the average retirement age of your compatriots.
Let’s dive into how to retire at 60.
Can I retire at 60?
Considering the average US retirement age is 61, it’s completely understandable that some people ask, “Can I retire at 60?” After all, will one year really make all that much difference if you save a little harder when you have the opportunity to do so?
A year can make a big difference, depending on how you save to enter retirement at 60.
If your retirement savings are close to the average retirement savings at 60, you might find it difficult to retire at this age, especially if all you’re relying on are traditional retirement savings products. However, with the guidance of a regulated financial advisor, early retirement could be within reach.
How much money do I need to retire at 60?
Answering the question, “How much money do I need to retire at 60?” begins with working out what your expenses might be during your years of retirement.
These expenses vary according to the cost of living, where you live, your purchasing decisions, whether you own property, and other factors.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ breakdown of the average annual expenses of Americans aged 65 and older in 2021 offers a good idea of what you should reasonably expect your annual retirement income to cover:
|Average Amount Spent In 2021
|Utilities, fuel, public services
|Food at home
|Personal insurance and pensions
|Clothing and services
Let’s say that, to cover these average annual expenses and have some easily available funds for emergencies, you decide you want an annual retirement income of $50,500.
To get an idea of how much money you need to retire at 60, multiply $50,500 by the 20 years it will take you to reach a little more than the average American’s life expectancy, i.e., $50,500 x 20 = $1,010,000.
Bear in mind that you will be eligible to receive Social Security benefits and Medicare when you turn 65.
What are the average retirement savings at 60?
The average retirement savings at 60 are not enough to cover the average expenses of Americans 65 and older.
According to the Federal Reserve’s 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances, the average retirement savings of Americans in the 55-64 age group are $537,560.
This means the average American would find it difficult to retire at this age.
Saving for retirement at 60: How do I do it?
Looking at the above example and the average savings, it’s clear that a comfortable retirement at 60 is out of reach if you do not prepare for it.
Let’s take a look at how to save to retire at 60:
Cut costs where possible: Find ways to lower your expenses, if not now, then when you retire. Consider moving to a smaller home or a location with a lower cost of living and try to pay off all your debt before retiring. If you can lower your expenses enough, you might be able to live on less than 70% of your pre-retirement income.
Take advantage of retirement accounts: Saving money is the most important part of preparing to retire at 60. If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, use it to save money. Alternatively, use another type of retirement account, such as an IRA or Roth IRA, and ensure that you adjust your asset allocation accordingly as time goes on.
Find ways to increase your monthly or annual income: It’s not always possible to work more hours or receive a pay increase at work when you ask for one. Consider finding other ways to increase your income. Consider finding a second job or turning a hobby or passion into an additional income source. If boosting your income isn’t possible, try lowering or cutting out as many non-essential expenses as possible and putting the money you save toward retirement at 60.
Use additional or alternative savings and/or investment products: There’s no need to rely only on your employer’s 401(k) or your private Roth IRA when saving for early retirement. Ask a financial advisor about your options for saving and investing toward retiring at 60. Some options may yield a better return than traditional retirement accounts, especially if you use aggressive strategies.
Want expert financial advice?
The average American might not be financially prepared to retire at 60 or even at the average retirement age, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared.
Retiring comfortably requires effort in the decades leading up to the time you leave full-time employment, hopefully for a life of doing what you want.
Let Unbiased match you with the SEC-regulated financial advisor most suitable to offer expert financial advice so you can learn more about early retirement and how to get there.
Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.