Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

Getty Images

Everyone wants to know the “magic number” — the amount of cash they need to retire. Of course, if you save more cash and invest it in the right places, you should be able to retire earlier. But the real answer about when you can retire comfortably depends on many income and lifestyle factors, such as your cost of living, potential medical expenses, your time horizon, and the hobbies and activities you plan to pick up in retirement.

Fidelity Investments suggests that to retire at age 67, you need to have saved 10 times your annual salary if you want to live an “average” lifestyle. Fidelity defines an “average” lifestyle as one similar to how you lived during your working years. To get a sense of how much retirement costs changed over each of the past 65 years, GOBankingRates.com took the amount of the average annual wage for each year — based on data provided by the U.S. Social Security Administration — and multiplied by the Fidelity factor of 10 to come up with the average total cost to retire per year and maintain an “average” lifestyle.

Read More: 8 Things Not To Do in Retirement

Keep in mind the wage amount list here is the average for any given year. Of course, many workers earn substantially more — or less — than the averages. So, if your salary is higher than the average, you will need more money to retire than what you see in the list below if you hope to maintain the lifestyle you enjoyed while working. And by contrast, if you earned less than the average salary, you might not need as much money to maintain your lifestyle in retirement.

See how much you need to save today compared to workers in earlier generations who hoped to achieve their own retirement dreams.

1951

National average wage index: $2,799.16

Cost to retire: $27,991.60

1952

National average wage index: $2,973.32

Cost to retire: $29,733.20

1953

National average wage index: $3,139.44

Cost to retire: $31,394.40

1954

National average wage index: $3,155.64

Cost to retire: $31,556.40

Read More: 7 Times It’s OK To Dip Into Your Retirement Fund Early

1955

National average wage index: $3,301.44

Cost to retire: $33,014.40

1956

National average wage index: $3,532.36

Cost to retire: $35,323.60

1957

National average wage index: $3,641.72

Cost to retire: $36,417.20

1958

National average wage index: $3,673.80

Cost to retire: $36,738

1959

National average wage index: $3,855.80

Cost to retire: $38,558

1960

National average wage index: $4,007.12

Cost to retire: $40,071.20

1961

National average wage index: $4,086.76

Cost to retire: $40,867.60

1962

National average wage index: $4,291.40

Cost to retire: $42,914

1963

National average wage index: $4,396.64

Cost to retire: $43,966.40

1964

National average wage index: $4,576.32

Cost to retire: $45,763.20

1965

National average wage index: $4,658.72

Cost to retire: $46,587.20

1966

National average wage index: $4,938.36

Cost to retire: $49,383.60

1967

National average wage index: $5,213.44

Cost to retire: $52,134.40

Read More: 30 Cruise Secrets Only Insiders Know

1968

National average wage index: $5,571.76

Cost to retire: $55,717.60

1969

National average wage index: $5,893.76

Cost to retire: $58,937.60

1970

National average wage index: $6,186.24

Cost to retire: $61,862.40

1971

National average wage index: $6,497.08

Cost to retire: $64,970.80

1972

National average wage index: $7,133.80

Cost to retire: $71,338

1973

National average wage index: $7,580.16

Cost to retire: $75,801.60

1974

National average wage index: $8,030.76

Cost to retire: $80,307.60

1975

National average wage index: $8,630.92

Cost to retire: $86,309.20

1976

National average wage index: $9,226.48

Cost to retire: $92,264.80

1977

National average wage index: $9,779.44

Cost to retire: $97,794.40

1978

National average wage index: $10,556.03

Cost to retire: $105,560.30

1979

National average wage index: $11,479.46

Cost to retire: $114,794.60

1980

National average wage index: $12,513.46

Cost to retire: $125,134.60

1981

National average wage index: $13,773.10

Cost to retire: $137,731

1982

National average wage index: $14,531.34

Cost to retire: $145,313.40

1983

National average wage index: $15,239.24

Cost to retire: $152,392.40

1984

National average wage index: $16,135.07

Cost to retire: $161,350.70

1985

National average wage index: $16,822.51

Cost to retire: $168,225.10

1986

National average wage index: $17,321.82

Cost to retire: $173,218.20

1987

National average wage index: $18,426.51

Cost to retire: $184,265.10

1988

National average wage index: $19,334.04

Cost to retire: $193,340.40

1989

National average wage index: $20,099.55

Cost to retire: $200,995.50

1990

National average wage index: $21,027.98

Cost to retire: $210,279.80

1991

National average wage index: $21,811.60

Cost to retire: $218,116

1992

National average wage index: $22,935.42

Cost to retire: $229,354.20

1993

National average wage index: $23,132.67

Cost to retire: $231,326.70

1994

National average wage index: $23,753.53

Cost to retire: $237,535.30

1995

National average wage index: $24,705.66

Cost to retire: $247,056.60

1996

National average wage index: $25,913.90

Cost to retire: $259,139

1997

National average wage index: $27,426

Cost to retire: $274,260

1998

National average wage index: $28,861.44

Cost to retire: $288,614.40

1999

National average wage index: $30,469.84

Cost to retire: $304,698.40

2000

National average wage index: $32,154.82

Cost to retire: $321,548.20

2001

National average wage index: $32,921.92

Cost to retire: $329,219.20

2002

National average wage index: $33,252.09

Cost to retire: $332,520.90

2003

National average wage index: $34,064.95

Cost to retire: $340,649.50

2004

National average wage index: $35,648.55

Cost to retire: $356,485.50

2005

National average wage index: $36,952.94

Cost to retire: $369,529.40

2006

National average wage index: $38,651.41

Cost to retire: $386.514.10

2007

National average wage index: $40,405.48

Cost to retire: $404,054.80

2008

National average wage index: $41,334.97

Cost to retire: $413,349.70

2009

National average wage index: $40,711.61

Cost to retire: $407,116.10

2010

National average wage index: $41,673.83

Cost to retire: $416,738.30

2011

National average wage index: $42,979.61

Cost to retire: $429,796.10

2012

National average wage index: $44,321.67

Cost to retire: $443,216.70

2013

National average wage index: $44,888.16

Cost to retire: $448,881.60

2014

National average wage index: $46,481.52

Cost to retire: $464,815.20

2015

National average wage index: $47,922.45

Cost to retire: $479,224.47

2016

National average wage index: $49,503.89

Cost to retire: $495,038.90

A Few Caveats: How to Properly Save for Retirement

Not all financial advisors recommend setting a fixed amount as your retirement savings goal. “Focusing on a number to reach makes creating a great retirement almost impossible,” said retirement specialist Roger Whitney, a certified financial planner based in Fort Worth, Texas. “The numbers just don’t work for most of us. We take a more multidimensional approach that focuses on creating a life you don’t want to retire from.”

There are also other approaches to calculating your retirement costs. If you follow the classic rule, you can withdraw 4 percent of your total savings each year, adjusted for inflation. Take that approach, and you should have enough to fund your expenses for 30 years without running out of cash.

But that is not an absolute rule, and it depends how much is in your nest egg. If you have not saved enough, 4 percent is not going to be enough to sustain you without additional income.

Other cultural changes since 1951 also impact retirement costs. “Baby boomers will live longer, be more active and more engaged in retirement than any other generation in the history of the world,” Whitney said. “The same approach that worked for our parents won’t work for us.”

This article originally appeared on GoBankingRates.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST