How long until you're a 401(k) millionaire? Check this chart

  • By Shawn Langlois,
  • MarketWatch
  • 401(k)
  • Saving for Retirement
  • 401(k)
  • 401(k)
  • Saving for Retirement
  • 401(k)
  • 401(k)
  • Saving for Retirement
  • 401(k)
  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Google Plus
  • Print

The desire to impress on social media combined with soaring stock prices has given rise to an odd trend lately: People are posting snapshots of their retirement accounts online to celebrate how they've become 401(k) millionaires!

What a time to be alive.

Of course, such boasts are bound to lead to internet envy, especially since only about 54 million American workers put money into a 401(k) plan in 2015. According to Vanguard, the average 401(k) plan balance was about $100,000 in 2017 and the median balance was around $27,000.

The Financial Samurai blog crunched the numbers to show the time it would take, using various strategies, to reach millionaire status when starting from scratch. This exercise assumes maxed out contributions and average historical performance.

"Historical returns can't guarantee future returns, but after a 10-20 year period of investing in your 401(k), your average annual portfolio return will likely begin to mimic the historical averages," Financial Samurai's Sam Dogen wrote.

He also offered up this roadmap of savings targets:

If the bull market keeps chugging along, you'll get there in no time. But, needless to say, if/when the bull market finally dies, it could take a lot longer to reach your goals.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) and S&P 500 index (.SPX) have been on a string of record runs of late, but volatility has picked up this week... prompting many market watchers to warn investors that it isn't a matter of if/when, but simply when.

Either way, the key is to get started, choose a strategy, stay the course and, for the love of Warren Buffett, don't tweet out your financial details when you hit your number.

  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Google Plus
  • Print
Copyright © 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Votes are submitted voluntarily by individuals and reflect their own opinion of the article's helpfulness. A percentage value for helpfulness will display once a sufficient number of votes have been submitted.
close
Please enter a valid e-mail address
Please enter a valid e-mail address
Important legal information about the e-mail you will be sending. By using this service, you agree to input your real e-mail address and only send it to people you know. It is a violation of law in some jurisdictions to falsely identify yourself in an e-mail. All information you provide will be used by Fidelity solely for the purpose of sending the e-mail on your behalf.The subject line of the e-mail you send will be "Fidelity.com: "

Your e-mail has been sent.
close

Your e-mail has been sent.

You May Also Like...

Older entrepreneurs are redefining start-ups

More people in their 50s and 60s are starting their own businesses to supplement their income and savings as they live longer.

The case for moving to a retirement community

For many senior citizens, their retirement dream is to migrate to an environment they can control and in which they are valued. Here's why a retirement community offer a ideal environment to grow older with people just like you.

Identifying the next financial crisis

Steve Rattner, chairman and chief executive officer at Willett Advisors, and Jim Millstein, founder and chief executive officer at Millstein & Co., discuss the factors that could potentially lead to the next financial crisis.