SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — People who stuck with their 401(k) plan through thick and thin for the past 10 years more than doubled their account balances, according to the latest data from Fidelity Investments on the behavior of 11 million plan participants. But a separate study found that many workers are not faring well with retirement saving.
The average account balance for savers who are now 55 years old or older and have been participating in their plan continuously for 10 years was $211,300 at the end of the third quarter, up from $96,000 a decade ago, according to Fidelity.
Another way to look at this is that the average 401k balance was fully invested in the Dow 10 yrs ago, and that average contributor pumped in $10k / yr since to the same investment portfolio. The numbers work almost to the penny.
Not as much of a story to find that the average investor invests an average amount and gets average returns..
the idea that the vast majority of people can self fund a retirement via the stock market or other securities is a myth. In fact the entire notion of a "retirement" or "golden years" is for most people a myth. That only works for the top 20% or so.
Traditionally, children and extended family helped take care of old people, and in turn old people pitched in the best they could with things like childcare, cooking, cleaning, etc. Old people were not considered useless but rather important and normal parts of families and communities.
Today, we have the generational wealth transfer scheme social security. However, for many family or public assistance will continue to be the only viable option.