Atlanta residents have a retirement ‘magic number’; many are far from it

According to a new study, Atlantans have saved only about $80,000 of a needed $1 million

Atlanta residents have a “magic number” in mind when planning for their retirements, but many are having a tough time saving up. Northwestern Mutual’s 2023 Planning & Progress Study determined many locals believe they need $1.09 million to retire comfortably.

According to the study, however, locals have saved an average $77,700. Nationwide, Americans are averaging $88,400 in retirement savings.

“We are seeing the effects of higher inflation on two fronts when it comes to retirement planning,” Ben Glassman, private wealth advisor and director of financial planning at Haven Wealth Advisors, told Northwestern Mutual in a press release.

“People’s expectation of what a comfortable retirement lifestyle will cost has ballooned to record levels, while there is greater competition for each dollar of their earned income between a higher cost of living, discretionary spending, and their ability to save and meet those future needs,” he added. “It’s important to remember that each individual’s ‘magic number’ is unique to their own goals and circumstance. Having a comprehensive financial plan can quantify that number, while helping to develop the systems and strategies that will set them up for long-term success.”

Across the board, Atlanta residents were found to be just as confident, or more confident, than the average American when it comes to planning for their golden years. However, 33% of those surveyed said they believed they could live to be 100, with 43% believing they could, consequently, outlive their retirement savings.

According to Glassman, meeting expectations can often come down to tax minimization.

“Taxes can have the biggest drag on our wealth over time,” he said. “Where we save money, how we grow our money, and ultimately how we distribute our money are all key components to achieving financial independence. Building different buckets of wealth with complimentary tax characteristics ensures we arrive well positioned at retirement, with optionality on how we create income, regardless of which direction taxes go in the future.”