American IRA a Self-Directed IRA Firm Explains Average 401(k) Balances by Age

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Self-Directed IRA administration firm American IRA recently ran through the average 401(k) balance numbers to help investors understand where they might fall in terms of retirement planning.

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American IRA CEO, Jim Hitt

The advantage is with those who take advantage of the tax protections of a Self-Directed IRA or a 401(k) plan from early in their career and put money aside from the very beginning.

How should investors know if they are on track for retirement? According to a recent post at American IRA, it’s important to measure one’s success by understanding what the average 401(k) balance is by age. The post looked at data from the Federal Reserve as well as others to get a sense of where most investors are by many stages in their lives.

According to the post, people ages 20-29 had a median 401(k) account balance of just $4,000, while they had an $11,600 balance in a dollar-weighted average, according to Fidelity data. Because many in their 20s do not hold 401(k)s at all, it brings the average down.

The data, the post noted, does not include Self-Directed 401(k)s or Self-Directed IRA accounts.

At ages 30-39, the average goes up significantly. Said the post: “On average, 30-somethings are sporting average 401(k) balances of $43,600, according to Fidelity’s data. The median account balance is $16,500.”

The post also notes that these are individual account balances, not total account balances from a wide range of investments, which might include other investments such as a Self-Directed IRA or an independent Roth IRA.

As people age, their average balances tend to go higher. However, the post notes that the amounts are not as high as one might expect, including an average 401(k) balance for those in their 50s as $179,100. The median balance at just $62,700 suggests that many people are playing “catch-up” later in life as they build a tremendous amount of wealth in a short amount of time. However, the advantage is with those who take advantage of the tax protections of a Self-Directed IRA or a 401(k) plan from early in their career and put money aside from the very beginning.

“You can compare yourself to averages,” said Jim Hitt, CEO of American IRA, “but why not try to be something above average? Use these statistics as road marks and not necessarily the goal.”

For more information about Self-Directed IRAs, visit American IRA at or call 866-7500-IRA.

American IRA, LLC was established in 2004 by Jim Hitt, CEO in Asheville, NC.
The mission of American IRA is to provide the highest level of customer service in the self-directed retirement industry. Jim Hitt and his team have grown the company to over $400 million in assets under administration by educating the public that their Self-Directed IRA account can invest in a variety of assets such as real estate, private lending, limited liability companies, precious metals and much more.

As a Self-Directed IRA administrator, they are a neutral third party. They do not make any recommendations to any person or entity associated with investments of any type (including financial representatives, investment promoters or companies, or employees, agents or representatives associated with these firms). They are not responsible for and are not bound by any statements, representations, warranties or agreements made by any such person or entity and do not provide any recommendation on the quality profitability or reputability of any investment, individual or company. The term "they" refers to American IRA, located in Asheville and Charlotte, NC."

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