• Kimberly Thomas

Are You On Retirement Watch?

Over 81% of workers in America participate in a company 401(k) plan. There are 52,500,000 people saving for retirement in a company retirement plan. If these are the statistics....how are so many people a part of the working poor and not prepared for retirement?


401(k) Contribution Statistics

  • Total value of assets held in 401(k) plans $4.5 Trillion

  • Percent of all retirement assets held in 401(k) plans 18 %

  • Total number of 401(k) participants 52,500,000

  • Total number of 401(k) plans 515,000

  • Percent of full time workers who have employee-

  • sponsored 401(k) plan 78 %

  • Percent of workers who participate in their available

  • 401(k) plan 81.5 %

  • Average percent of salary contributed to a 401(k) 6.8 %

  • Percent of 401(k) plan assets held in mutual funds 64 %

Industries that match the highest percent of 401(k)contributions Percent Match

  • Credit intermediation firms 5 %

  • Protective service workers 5 %

  • Managers 4 %

  • West coast employees 4 %

  • Insurance carriers 3.9 %

  • Trade, transportation, and utilities workers 3.5 %

  • Companies with 500+ employees 3.5 %

  • Average employer 401(k) matching 3 %

Average 401(k) Account Balance by Age

  • Age Low End High End

  • 23 $8,000 $17,500

  • 24 $25,500 $38,000

  • 25 $43,000 $65,000

  • 30 $130,500 $200,000

  • 35 $218,000 $350,000

  • 40 $305,500 $550,000

  • 45 $393,000 $800,000

  • 50 $480,500 $1,200,000

  • 55 $568,000 $1,800,000

  • 60 $655,500 $2,500,000

  • 65 $743,000 $3,500,000

Total 401(k) Plan Assets Total Value

  • 2015 $4,500,000,000,000

  • 2012 $3,500,000,000,000

  • 2010 $3,100,000,000,000

  • 2008 $2,200,000,000,000

  • 2007 $3,000,000,000,000

  • 2004 $2,200,000,000,000

  • 1994 $700,000,000,000

The research conducted by Statistic Brain Research Institute on September 24, 2017 is startling.


Yes, Americans are saving for retirement, and these are the statistics. However, there aren't any statistics to show how many Americans pull the money out of their 401(k) while employed for the following:

  • Medical bills Home purchases Moving Expenses College costs

  • Accidents Injuries

  • Emergencies Home repairs Cash reserves Death Divorce

If those statistics were reported you would shake your head. The average American can not put their hands on $1,000 in a cash reserve account if they encountered a disability, hospitalization, cancer, accidents, illness, or death. When these things happen it creates a financial disaster if the proper accounts aren't established, and/or if the proper income replacement insurance, or life insurance is not set up. It's not the fact that people aren't saving and investing, it's the fact of WHERE they are saving and investing their money. If all of a persons' savings is in their 401(k), IRA, or other retirement account they are not properly diversified, and they are causing themselves financial harm. Most people think diversification is placing money in different sectors of the market to get the maximum return, but it is ALSO placing it in the proper accounts, investments, and insurances to be available in a time of need.


Employees can get a voluntary benefit program such as Aflac for as little as $10 per paycheck. However most employers don't offer voluntary employee benefits. 2017 research shows that not even half of U.S. companies, nonprofits, and education institutions offer voluntary employee benefits. In many cases those benefits would cover major life's events such as disability, cancer, accidents, hospitalization, out of pocket medical cost, and it would prevent them from withdrawing from their 401(k) and they would have their money at retirement. Purchasing a voluntary benefit program; purchasing the proper amount and proper type of life insurance on children, primary care givers, and bread winners of the family; saving in the proper cash reserve accounts;investing in the proper college savings accounts, ALONG WITH investing in your company 401(k) is the way to go from being unprepared to TOTALLY prepared for retirement.

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