According to Fidelity, one of the largest 401k providers in the world with over 12 million accounts, the average 401k balance is now around $77,300 as of 2/14/2013. In March of 2014, Vanguard reported that the average 401k balance has now shot up to $101,650. For workers 55 years of age or older, the average balance is $143,300.
In seven not so short years, we’ve finally breached the peak average balance of $69,000 in 2007 and are now at record highs. It’s not so hard to believe since the Dow Jones and S&P 500 are also at record highs as of 11/24/2014. At the depths of the crisis in 2008, the average 401k balance plummeted 25% to around $50,000.
401k participation levels hover at a respectable 71% for those making $40,000-$60,000 a year. Participating levels are therefore clearly much higher for those making more, but the exact number is unclear. For those making $20,000 to $40,000 a year, the participation level drops to just 53%, which is understandable.
Let’s say the average age surveyed is between 30-35, you can now see how absolutely pathetic these balances are if you are actually depending on your 401K to retire. You need to have the mindset of always maxing out your 401(k) every single year while saving at least 20% of your income after full contribution. There really is no other guaranteed way to retire comfortably if you aren’t saving a good amount. The power is all in your hands!