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Average 401(k) Balance by Age

Octodad

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,657
I recognize that what's in this video isn't possible for a lot of people because of real life. But the example here still holds. Please start saving for retirement when you're young, it's so much easier.


To get to 2 million with no raises no match:

Age 22 - $800 a month
Age 25 - $1,000 a month
Age 30 - $1,400 a month
Age 35 - $2,000 a month
Age 40 - $2900 a month
 
Oct 28, 2017
12,291
California
I’m 32 and I started a 401(k) super late. Only have a bit above $5000 and I only contribute 4% since that’s what my employer matches up to.

I also started a Roth IRA late as well. It’s not much but I’m glad I’m finally in a place in my life where I can have both a 401(k) and a Roth IRA.
 

Bryo4321

Member
Nov 20, 2017
600
These age ranges are too wide, I’m in my early 20s so by the time I’m 29 I’ll be well over that average. Guess I’m on track then?
 

Mcfrank

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,934
37 and ahead of the curve on this. Hoping to retire by 50 if we can get our house paid off.
 

Timeaisis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,903
Austin, TX
I am 31 and just got a 401(k) so I mean...

Guess I'm fucked. Things don't really work out when salaried jobs with benefits are hard to come by. I'd assume that's pretty common in my generation.
 

GoldenEye 007

Roll Tide, Y'all!
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,879
Texas
I'm 31 and I know I'm likely a bit behind based on these numbers, but my retirement picture is a little different. Don't have a traditional 401k. Instead there is a part pension, part 401k like account, plus a supplemental 403b account I have. I in total contribute about 11% all said and done which goes to the self-directed accounts, and my employer does 14% which goes to the pension account. It's likely when including the current amount in the pension account, I'm right at the average and at 1/2 my salary. I also have everything set to 100% stocks.

In the future, I may switch fully to self-directed and cancel the pension if only for the reality that I doubt I'll be with this same employer for 30+ years to fully realize a pension payout.

Wife is 29 and is technically above average for that age range and ultimately has a similar total amount as me. She also just switched jobs, so 7% goes into a pension account. And she also has a supplemental account she puts some into. Also, neither of us pay into Social Security, so that will not be factored into our plans at this time.
 
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Oct 26, 2017
481
I turn 30 next week, so for the time being I'm ahead for my grouping, but will be behind soon. Also, I'm shocked at those % contribution. I put the maximum my employer matches (7%) and that's apparently average or worse for every age group. Do employers really match 10%+ at some companies?
 

chirt

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,171
Yea I'm screwed lol.
Living in Japan for 5 years has put me way behind. Don't follow your dreams folks.
 

tangeu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
655
I recognize that what's in this video isn't possible for a lot of people because of real life. But the example here still holds. Please start saving for retirement when you're young, it's so much easier.


To get to 2 million with no raises no match:

Age 22 - $800 a month
Age 25 - $1,000 a month
Age 30 - $1,400 a month
Age 35 - $2,000 a month
Age 40 - $2900 a month
This just makes me sad, I just had to back off of contributions again (down to 3% was 6% before and 8% before that) because of bills and I'm nearly 40, I can't even get ahead on my emergency savings, nothing grows faster than cost of living, my yearly net income has gone from positive to break even to now negative this past year. I will die at my desk at work.
 

Based0ne

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
648
USA
I had $30,000 but had a little bit of an emergency situation so that left me with $21,000~. Ended up rolling it over to an IRA CD and locked it in for 5 years at 3.09%. Currently 30 and started a new job and will be doing 10% of my income to go in my 401k.
 

PlatStrat

Member
Oct 27, 2017
122
Wow those are a lot lower than I was expecting. I started at 5% but have increased the percentage each year so now I'm at 10% and have saved $76k at 28 years old.
 

Octodad

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,657
This just makes me sad, I just had to back off of contributions again (down to 3% was 6% before and 8% before that) because of bills and I'm nearly 40, I can't even get ahead on my emergency savings, nothing grows faster than cost of living, my yearly net income has gone from positive to break even to now negative this past year. I will die at my desk at work.
Don't be sad. The best time to invest is today. Just do what you can. Not everyone needs 2 million. The fact that you're investing at all is great. I've been there myself. Our lives aren't always perfect math equations.

That said, I do wish we had better pay and support for people of lower incomes. I know it's hard.
 

pants

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,023
You should pray that most work is automated, a superflu wipes out half of the population, and the only sensible solution left is to tax mega-corporations to subsidize the ability for the average human to comfortably retire.

Because boy howdy is the future going to suck otherwise.

(Not to take away from anyone who is ahead of the curve - good job!)
 

i love tacos

Member
Oct 27, 2017
37
In my mid 30's and I'm already far behind. My raises have barely kept up with the cost of living increases... At least I'm single so I only have to worry about myself. I can't imagine having the ability to put $1,000 a month into retirement savings, that sounds like a luxury.

I'm just going to save what I can and hope there's a positive reformation of Social Security in the next 30 years instead of it being gutted.
 

Razgriz417

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,338
little below the average for my age, though I wasn't making much until recently so I have some catching up to do
 

captive

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,488
Houston
Those medians are brutal and paint a ghastly picture for people’s futures since pensions were mostly phased out.
These were my thoughts.

The average and median all the way into people in their 60s are dreadful. You'd expect younger people not to have that much saved. But people in their 60s I'd expect the median to be 500k and even that isn't enough to retire on.
 

RustyNails

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,018
Retirement savings is basically 4% per year payout for 30 years. It'd be $6,000 a year roughly.
How much do retirement homes or living in a retirement community cost? if someone wants to go back to renting after retirement, that will be like $1200 to $1500 a month, no? Also what if you get unlucky health wise and it's a really big medical bill which Medicare may not cover? I don't know the full details, but was just hashing out the numbers
 

Octodad

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,657
How much do retirement homes or living in a retirement community cost? if someone wants to go back to renting after retirement, that will be like $1200 to $1500 a month, no? Also what if you get unlucky health wise and it's a really big medical bill which Medicare may not cover? I don't know the full details, but was just hashing out the numbers
Full retirement communities are anywhere from $35,000 - $100,000 a year. It's not cheap at all. Technically you also would get social security which is likely around $25,000 year. So your annual income if you had $150,000 in retirement would be something like $31,000 depending on inflation and other situations at the time.
 

Cels

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,901
i'm above average for my age bracket but i don't have half my salary saved
 

ieandrew

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
307
Right about half of my salary is saved. Relieving to see a goal like this, because my retirement portfolio through my employer has much higher expectations, and I have a friend who is fretting about his 11%+11%match retirement savings, which is almost twice as much as I've ever contributed.
 

Prax

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,260
I'm In Canada, but if I combine my TFSA, RRSP, and portion of my pension that is vested (the amount I'd get if I were fired today), I'm ahead of the game for my age average. This is surprising because I was under the impression I was still under 1x my salary in longterm savings, but I actually passed that milestone this year. Those averages and medians listed are not good though. Just being at those numbers won't let you retire well.
Learning the basics about investing and saving for retirement has been my interest/hobby for the last 5 years.

I came in at almost zero networth (or negative given my student loans lol) in 2013 (I was 29). But now I'm financially on track.

5 years can MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE, so start as soon as you can. It's never too late.

34 and about $150k but don't have an IRA or any other retirement savings.
Shouldn't you at least start putting that amount in a roth-IRA? You're missing out on tax sheltering your gains even if it's just in a high interest savings account and not stock/ETFs.
 
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jeelybeans

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,077
I recognize that what's in this video isn't possible for a lot of people because of real life. But the example here still holds. Please start saving for retirement when you're young, it's so much easier.


To get to 2 million with no raises no match:

Age 22 - $800 a month
Age 25 - $1,000 a month
Age 30 - $1,400 a month
Age 35 - $2,000 a month
Age 40 - $2900 a month
This is ridiculous. How is somebody supposed to afford a mortgage and a decent lifestyle while still putting 40k a year in an account they can't touch.
 

TAJ

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,638
I am above the average in the age range above me and above the median for all of them. Contributing 15% and almost maxing it out each year and with employer profit sharing I go over the typical max (but that doesn't count towards my individual contributions). Part of me wants to slow down and start investing more in accounts that I don't have to wait almost 40 years to access without penalty.

Pretty obvious, there are people who have multiple millions saved up that skew up the average. The median takes into account how many people have have none or close to none.
The median and average don't include the people who have none because the numbers came from a Fidelity Investments report on its customers.
Ony 44% have 401ks, so the numbers are waaaaaay high.
 

Octodad

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,657
This is ridiculous. How is somebody supposed to afford a mortgage and a decent lifestyle while still putting 40k a year in an account they can't touch.
What? It's not supposed to be an exact prescription. It's just using round numbers to show the difference of contributing early vs. late.