Retirement Readiness

42.9% Of American Adults Have Less Than $25k Saved For Retirement

Results are skewed by gender, with 48.9% of women reporting having saved $25k or less compared to 35.6% of men

A new survey from Gold IRA Guide reveals widespread unpreparedness for retirement in the U.S., massive wealth inequalities amplified by state and gender. See the complete study results here.

NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A new survey of 5,001 American adults found that a plurality (42.9%) report having less than $25,000 saved for a retirement account.

Previous polling has found that over one-third of Americans feel financially unprepared for their retirement. However, the true extent of Americans’ retirement unpreparedness in today’s pandemic-era economy had not been unearthed until now.

The nationwide survey, conducted by Gold IRA Guide, also brings to light massive financial inequalities and inequities across regions and genders. Women and politically “red” states are, on average, much worse off than their male and “blue” counterparts.

Survey Question & Findings

The survey asked 5,001 American adults the following question:

“How much do you have saved for retirement so far? (401k, IRA, etc.)”

The results found that men are much more prepared for retirement than women. 48.9% of women reported having saved less than $25k, compared to only 35.6% of men. Of those who have saved more than $1 million, men outnumber women nearly 2-to-1.

Nationwide, 18.5% of respondents reported having more than $1 million saved in retirement savings accounts.

Those living in politically “red” states generally had less money saved than “blue” states. The states with the highest percentage with less than $25k saved are:

  • Oklahoma (59.2%)
  • Indiana (53.4%)
  • Alabama (52.1%)

The states with the highest percentage of respondents who reported having more than $1 million saved are:

  • California (21%)
  • Connecticut (19.7%)
  • Michigan (18%)

Age did not appear to significantly skew the data. Across all age categories, “less than $25k” was the most popular response choice, including 36.2% of all respondents aged 45 and older.


The survey was designed and published by, a free personal finance newsletter and education website. Responses were gathered from a nationally-representative sample, spanning all 50 U.S. states, over a 25-day period between October 12 and November 6, 2021, and were published on November 12th.

Financial writer Liam Hunt, one of the study authors, commented on the significance of the findings:

“These new data paint a grim picture, one that depicts most Americans as unprepared for retirement. Wealth inequality is not the only systemic contributor. A lack of financial literacy and knowledge handed down through the public education system is a major catalyst of retirement unpreparedness. Fiscal policy and social programs to address poverty alleviation and wealth inequality have limited effect when uncoupled with comprehensive financial education.”