How does your 401 (k) balance compare to the average? | Personal finance


In 2020, the average 401 (k) balance for Vanguard participants was $ 129,157, according to Vanguard’s 2021 How America Saves report. The median balance, however, was considerably lower, standing at $ 33,472. How does your 401 (k) balance compare?

How Much Retirement Savings Should You Have?

Anytime you have a median that is significantly lower than the average, you can infer that more people have less than the average than more. Or, to put it another way, that average balance of $ 129,157 may come from a small percentage of 401 (k) participants who have saved extremely well and are pulling the average up. But that $ 33,472 may be more representative of what the typical saver has actually accumulated to date.

There is no magic savings number that will give you financial security in retirement. A good rule of thumb is to set aside enough money so that by the time you leave the workforce for good, you have 10 to 12 times your ending salary in savings.

But remember, this is the total you should be aiming for when you retire. And so, if you’re 30 and have a retirement plan balance of $ 33,472, or something around it, you might not be in such bad shape.

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