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Did Your 401K Balance Increase 50%?

The average 401(k) balance rose 50% between 1999 and 2005 to a hefty sum of $102,014, according to a study released by Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute. This period, of course, includes the huge drop in 2001 (dot-com bust anyone?) and the miraculous rise from the ashes starting in 2002 (had to start sometime). That, however, is the not the most interesting part of the study, here it is:

The average account balance in 2005 among workers in their 20s who have had accounts since 1999 was $24,169. For those in their 30s, it increased to $50,930, while for those in their 40s it rose to $91,848. Workers in their 50s had an average account balance of $127,766, while the average for those in their 60s was $140,957.

If you’re a benchmark type of person and you keep track, how do your account balances compare to the averages listed above? Personally, my 401(k) balance has hovered around but has yet to break $50,000 – a result of both contributing a lot and the tremendous growth of emerging market funds (and subsequent semi-drop). As for stocks and bonds, I have the vast majority involved in stocks and very very little in bonds (very very very little!) unlikes the stats mentioned in the article.

Source: CNN Money [3].