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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Now or later: Making moves toward money milestones



When should you be able to afford your dream home? The average American says by age 33, according to a new survey. 

The poll of 2,000 US adults found, aside from their ideal house, the average person should be able to afford a car by age 26, a starter home and a child by age 30, a second or third kid by age 32 and, surprisingly, retirement by age 44.  

Many are making moves towards that goal, as more than half (51%) of those polled said retirement is their top savings goal. 

The study by financial services company Empower, conducted by OnePoll, found an overall 56% of people have financial goals— and 92% of those believe their goals are feasible at certain life stages. 

The survey found 56% have a budget set aside purely for savings, with individual amounts for both long-term and short-term savings goals. 

For short-term goals, defined as attainable within five years of saving, people say they stash an average of $1,539. Savers say they’ve set aside an average of $2,335 for longer-term goals that are five years or more away. 

People are more inclined to set aside money for their long-term goals than short-term ones (41%, compared to 24%) which include saving for a home (50%), student loans (46%), medical expenses (45%) and cars (41%). 

Long-term savings were also found to be more impactful on peoples’ financial health than short-term savings (78%, compared to 65%). 

“Most people believe in the positive impact setting aside money for later can have on their lives,” said Courtney Burrell, financial professional at Empower. “Whether it be for retirement, a home or Taylor Swift concert tickets, having a plan -- and sticking to it – can help you reach your financial goals, both big and small.” 

The study also aimed to categorize Americans in four major “money personas”: explorers, builders, mentors and givers. 

Explorers (38%) defined themselves as “learning about the world around them,” builders (37%) are focused on “growing their lives,” mentors (16%) like to “share what they have learned and givers (7%) believe in “revisiting past aspirations.” 

Aligned with their preference to “get the most out of life” by enjoying the here and now (50%), explorers favor saving for material things (83%), whereas builders, mentors and givers prefer saving for experiences (80%, 87% and 83%, respectively). 

Nearly half of builders (47%) defined it as “planning for a secure, prosperous future.” And 46% of givers simply said it’s defined by “having nice things.” 

"Understanding your financial ‘persona’ and what you value in life can help you make more informed money decisions throughout each stage of your life,” said Burrell. 



Survey methodology

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Empower between October 27 and October 28, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR). 

“EMPOWER” and all associated logos and product names are trademarks of Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America. Empower refers to the products and services offered by Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America and its subsidiaries. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide investment, legal, or tax recommendations or advice. 

©2023 Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America. All rights reserved. 


The Currency editors

Staff contributors

The CurrencyTM, a publication from Empower, covers the latest financial news and views shaping how we live, work, and play. We keep you current on ways to plan, save, and invest for life.

The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. No part of this blog, nor the links contained therein is a solicitation or offer to sell securities. Compensation for freelance contributions not to exceed $1,250. Third-party data is obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, Empower cannot guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or fitness of this data for any particular purpose. Third-party links are provided solely as a convenience and do not imply an affiliation, endorsement or approval by Empower of the contents on such third-party websites.

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