The average 401(k) balance by age, income level, gender, and industry – Business Insider

A average 401k balance of $171,623 between age 55 and 64 is not going to fund much of a retirement. Use the link below to see how you compare.

The average 401(k) balance is $92,148, according to a 2019 Vanguard analysis of over 5 million 401(k) plans issued by the company. But most people don’t have that amount of retirement savings.

The median 401(k) balance is $22,217, a better indicator of what the majority of Americans have saved for retirement.

According to Vanguard’s data, account balances increase with age and income level. Average savings balances are also influenced by gender and industry.

Source: The average 401(k) balance by age, income level, gender, and industry – Business Insider


  1. I don’t think surveys like this are very meaningful anymore. It doesn’t take into account how many times the person has changed jobs and that happens a lot these days.

    If they were to look at my balance it would fall in the average range for my age but that absolutely is not how much I have saved for retirement. I have a Rollover IRA at the brokerage company that I use and I have never taken money out of a 401K or that account. Every one of my 401k plans have been rolled over into that IRA.


    1. You have a point on the number career changes these days. But I think it is more an insight into people’s mindset. Teachers, healthcare, and retail workers don’t save as much farmers and construction workers. My guess would be that teachers and some healthcare workers get pensions. The non-degreed healthcare workers and retail workers probably don’t get more than minimum wage making hard to save (not impossible). Construction workers are used to being laid off and farmers also know how to save for a rainy day. I am also guessing that the higher average balances are smart workers who are taking advantage of their company’s matches.

      I worked with plenty of people who would not contribute to my company’s 401k up to the maximum company match. They were throwing away free money. I retired early and they are still working.

      Of course this survey is only on people who have accounts and saving something to begin with. Other survey indicate the number of people who don’t save at all.

      Another thing as far as the mindset is, for personally, I have the more than double the median balance for age, income, or sex in cash and CDs outside of my 401Ks and Roth IRA so I can keep on my retirement budget. I would go crazy if I had less and owed any long term debt in retirement. But that is just me.


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