Dave Ramsey Retirement Savings By Age: 3 Things to Know

Ever wonder about how your future will be like for retirement? I mean, who wouldn’t want to live financially stress-free on a beach having a tropical drink. I would love that! Most people my age (around 20 years old) have never even thought about saving for retirement yet. It seems so far away and we are just barely starting to “adult”. Even those who are a bit older still haven’t had much thought of it. So why should we care about saving for retirement already? Where would you even start to prepare yourself for retirement? Well, Dave Ramsey has all the inside scoop about retirement and what we should do about it. 

Retirement Savings By Age

Dave Ramsey has specific ideas on retirement and how it works.

Dave Ramsey believes that you should invest 15% in growth stock mutual funds for retirement. So, let’s say you may $60,000 per year from 22 to 30, and then $90,000 per year from 31 to 50, and $125,000 per year from 51 to 65. Let’s just assume you have 0% return, which should be false, but let’s be hyper conservative. Here would be the retirement amounts.

AgeTotal Savings

What would your retirement actually look like?

Retirement Calculator

I built this retirement calculator that is inspired by Dave Ramsey’s 15% income allocation for you to add your own figures. Can you email me at [email protected] if you have any issues?

What does Dave Ramsey think about retirement? 

Retirement is a huge deal and something that Dave Ramsey says everyone should do once debt-free! That is why Dave Ramsey create a goal on how to get out of debt and become financially wealthy. Which most of us know as Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps. Once done with the first three baby steps, it will be time to move onto step 4. Which is to invest 15% of your income in retirement. 

One thing though to note is to only invest when you are ready. Never invest in something that you know nothing about. Also once you start investing in your retirement you have to stay constant to save up for it. You must take action on this because this is the future we are talking about. If you want to become wealthy, this is a step in the right direction to do. Dave Ramsey recommends you have to do two things before you invest for retirement. 

When does Dave Ramsey think you should start saving for retirement?

So where do we start? You may think it is more complicated to invest in retirement but it is not as hard as it seems. You only need a few tools to start saving up for retirement. Dave Ramsey shares that you have to have two things done. Which are becoming debt-free and have savings worth 3-6 months. Once it is time to invest 15% of your income you will invest it towards Roth IRAS and a pre-tax retirement account. Therefore, if you collect from your employer either 401(k), TSP, or 403(b), then you need to invest up to that match. 

Dave Ramsey also suggests investing your retirement money to growth stock mutual funds. As I said, stay consistent and have a good track record of about 5 years of returns. This is also a long-term investment so be prepared. Whatever you do, do not use any of your retirement saving for anything else. That is where you can get off track towards your retirement and might mess up your savings. If you keep investing, the more it will grow. So do not take anything out and continue. Who knows, by the time you are retired you could have millions of dollars.

Dave Ramsey’s Retirement Calculator

Want to know the possibility of how your retirement will look like if you were to invest? Well, Dave Ramsey has your back because you can find out using his investment calculator. That sounds pretty cool right, well it is! This is a great tool to use to see what you would possibly have in your investment over time. 

You can do this by entering your information. Such as your current investment total, contribution, and annual rate of return. Then the investment calculator will give an approximate on how your money will grow from your investment rate. Though it is a good reminder to not always rely on just a calculator. It is a good idea to talk to someone who can guide you through your process as well. So try it out and see what your retirement could look like. 

How Are Ways to Save For Retirement

Retirement can be challenging to save money for but it has to be done. Luckily, there are many ways you can save for retirement. Though it is up to you to get on top of it. Just because you promised yourself a goal to save for retirement doesn’t mean anything. You have to put in the work and consistency towards it. 

Dave Ramsey has 3 steps you can use to save up for retirement: 

  • Create a goal for retirement savings
  • From your income, invest 15% into a Tax-Advantaged Account (like a 401(k)) and Roth IRA
  • Try to go above 15% to max out your 401(k) and more investment options

When you start the first step, it is a good idea to take your time with this. Go sit down and think about how you want your retirement to look like. It is a good idea to also involve your spouse (if you are married) and discuss together with your options and dreams for retirement. 

Going on to the next step, it is time to invest! Just make sure before getting into this step to be debt-free and have an emergency fund on the side. To start saving on your retirement you have a couple of options to do. You can get a 401(k) match and also open a Roth IRA. Then go back to your 401(k) and max out benefaction to also rise your 401(k) contribution too.

Lastly, you should go exceed past 15% and continue to max out! The more you save and invest, the more you will become wealthy when you retire. Whatever extra money you have, save it towards investment and keep on growing your retirement saving. Trust me when I tell you this, if you do this it will be the best decision of your life in the future. 

Common Retirement Questions Dave Ramsey Addresses:

Saving for retirement can be super confusing and difficult to understand if you know nothing about it. Especially if you are just looking into investing for your retirement for the first time. Why not just take a few moments to yourself and create some questions you may have for retirement as we get into the next section. There are so many questions that can pop up in your mind as you get into investing for retirement. Probably an overload of questions which is nothing to be ashamed of. Questions are good, that is how we grow and learn to improve. 

How do you know you have enough to retire?

It can be hard to figure out when it is the right time to retire. Dave Ramsey points out that if you are putting in savings, maxing out the 401(k), and following the baby steps you are in the right direction. In fact, if your goal is to retire with over a million dollars, you are probably going to exceed your retirement. Whatever goal you created for yourself in retirement should be completed as long as you do everything you could to push the limits. Also, It will depend on lifestyle, traveling, and how much contribution you donate. It is good to keep up with your retirement funds and getting all the numbers to be sure you have enough for retirement. 

So if you do what Dave Ramsey teaches, you shouldn’t have to worry about this question. For instance, if you save 15% from age 30-70 you would have about 8 million dollars in a good mutual fund having the average income. Therefore, like Dave Ramsey said, “do not shoot the goose that is laying the golden egg”. 

What If I Am Over 50 And Don’t Have Any Savings?

For those who are over the age of 50 without any savings, this might be a great question to look into. So what is the best thing to do if you are in this situation? Well if you haven’t guessed it already, you got to do the 3 steps Dave Ramsey advised to start saving for retirement. 

As we know it is to be debt-free, have an emergency fund, and invest 15% of your income. Then max out all your retirement that you can get your hands on. Such as Roth IRA, smart investors pro, and 401(k). You will be amazed at the chunk you have just invested in and possibly get back when saving for retirement. It is good to work together to overcome this hurdle with your spouse since you are both sharing your dreams. Of course, if you are not married then you can focus on yourself though it may be a challenge don’t let that stop you! 

Are 401k’s Good Options for Retirement?

When you plan on saving for retirement you may want to consider all your options for it. You want to make sure it matches and performance is good. To go over about 401(k) Dave Ramsey reminded us that it is not an investment. It is how the investment is treated under section 401 subsection K of the IRS code. This means that you are allowed to have money taken out of your check and put in your investment pre-tax. Then it grows tax-free if it is a Roth 401(k) or tax-deferred if it is a regular 401(k). 

Though what has been underperforming is not the 401(k) but like “a coat that is keeping the investment warm”. What should you do then? Dave Ramsey says you have to look for mutual funds inside the 401(K) whether it is a match or not. It should have a good long-term track record. Dave Ramsey recommends putting it in 4 types of mutual funds. Those 4 are growth, growth and income, aggressive growth, and international growth. The bottom line is you are trying to get different types of investments that have a good long-term track record that follows under the heading of growth stock mutual funds inside the 401(k). You can also do that inside a Roth. Though if you also don’t like the options your company is given to you, then you can go to a Roth IRA. With so many options to choose from now, you can figure out which one best supports your needs and financial growth. 

Dave Ramsey’s Myths About Retirement

Since it seems like retirement has been on your mind for a while, I bet you have already thought of some myths about retirement. It is important to get the right information or else you may be in a pickle in the future. One of the more popular myths is that you can live off of Social Security income. 

Trying to live off of Social Security

This is a big red flag already. The problem with that is the huge gap between the dreamer vs. what you will actually get from Social Security. From what they give, you won’t survive on it and say goodbye to your dream vacation on the beach. Not only that but the projection from Social Security Benefits will tank down about 20% by 2035. If I were you, do not invest in anything that has to deal with Social Security. 

Thinking You Have Enough to Retire With Just 401(K) Match

Another myth is if you were to invest up to your 401(k) match, you should have what you need for retirement. One amazing thing about it is if you can get a match, take it! That would be a great place for you to start investing. However, this isn’t something you can take a break from. You have to build a solid nest egg by investing 15% of your income to saving for retirement. Not only that but to go over the limit. Whatever it takes you should do it. 

Trying to Do It All By Yourself

A myth that is probably the worst you can do is by getting through retirement on your own. You have to be insane to think that is ok to do. Just because you say you are going to do it doesn’t mean anything. It is your action and commitment that will get you to save up for retirement. That is why you need to learn to control your money first to have a better understanding of retirement. 


Retirement is a process that every person needs to do to prepare for their future. There is nothing wrong with dreaming big, as long as you set a goal and start investing towards your retirement. Stay consistent and all your dreams will come true, so I hope to see you soon on the beach with your tropical drink in hand. 

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