Ready, Steady... Retire!

East Coast Ranks Most Retirement Ready

New Data Proves Planning Boosts Retirements Savings by 75%, Millennials Struggle to Save

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Oct 20, 2015) – In honor of National Save for Retirement Week, Personal Capital today released new data that reveals the state of U.S. retirement readiness and the challenges facing Millennials, the newest generation of retirement savers.

Personal Capital’s data reveals that East Coast dwellers are racking up retirement savings and Millennials are facing an uphill battle to save.

East Coast Reaps Retirement Savings

• According to the data, East Coast readiness reigns supreme:

• Delaware is the #1 most prepared state for retirement with the highest average amount of savings to date at $286,277.

• Connecticut is the #2 most prepared ($279,367 is the average amount saved).

• New Jersey is the #3 most prepared ($272,918 is the average amount saved).

• California falls behind with only $227,290 saved, landing in the #20 spot overall.

• East Coasters are the most interested in paying for their education goals: New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York rank as the top 3 states planning to save for education expenses.

Average expected savings for a 4-year education by New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York are $199,039, compared to California at #5 with an average of $174,684.

Where someone lives may predict their savings, but the data shows that creating a comprehensive plan substantially improves the odds that they will be set for retirement.

“Our data proves that proactively planning for your future is the most effective way to ensure financial security in retirement, and Americans need to start now to achieve their savings goals,” said Bill Harris, CEO of Personal Capital.

Millennial Money Matters

  • Millennials have had fewer years to save compared to other generations, so it is no surprise that they would have the least amount saved to date. But, the data unveils a surprisingly large generational gap in retirement readiness:
  • Baby Boomers have an average of $554,805 saved for retirement. This is 125% more than Gen X ($246,924) and over 700% more than Millennials ($68,971).
  • Millennials plan to spend less on many goals than other generations, such as home purchases ($142,274), and far less than Gen Xers ($686,739 planned for the same goal).
  • Millennials anticipate spending an average of $325,357 on vacations by the time they retire, while Gen X plans to spend $473,192.
  • The average Millennial expecting an inheritance anticipates an average of $1.06 million — twice as much income as from their paychecks.
  • Millennials expect to work for only 15 years and save $445,687 for retirement.
Millennials plan to work fewer years and spend less money on major purchases like owning a home, while at the same time they plan to donate more to charity than other generations

“Millennials face significant financial challenges, but they’re also carving a new path for themselves,” said Harris. “Our data shows that Millennials plan to work fewer years and spend less money on major purchases like owning a home, while at the same time they plan to donate more to charity than other generations.”

Financial Priorities Beyond Retirement: Education And Giving Back

Beyond overall retirement savings, education and charity are top of mind as future goals:

  • Education is the #1 goal for the majority of Personal Capital users — 60% plan to save $149,956 on average for the 4-year expense.
  • Users plan to spend an average of $345,772 on charitable gifts over the next 35 years, making it one of the top 3 financial goals.
  • This is higher than users’ anticipated costs for healthcare ($303,440), home purchases ($295,631) and weddings ($34,677).
  • Millennials are ranked as the most generous generation, with a goal to contribute $382,485 on average to charity.



People who have used Personal Capital’s Retirement Planner have saved, on average, 75% more than those who have not.
About the Data
To obtain this data, Personal Capital analyzed the retirement accounts of dashboard users on a completely anonymized basis. Retirement savings figures were compiled from 134,022 Personal Capital users. Goal data was compiled from the 8,028 users who set them in Personal Capital’s Retirement Planner tool. Goals are presented in Personal Capital’s app as projections of future income or expenditures. For the amounts listed, Personal Capital multiplied the yearly value of the goal times the number of years entered to get the total value. Averages were then computed on top of that across all of Personal Capital users. Generations are defined as: Baby Boomers, year of birth between 1943 and 1964; Generation X, year of birth between 1965 and 1979; Millennials, year of birth between 1980 and 2000.
About Personal Capital
Personal Capital is a next generation financial advisor. The company melds technology with professional advisors to help households manage their wealth. Personal Capital’s free app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android.
Disclaimer: Personal Capital Advisors is an SEC registered investment advisor. Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors. SEC registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.