Here’s how much Americans’ 401(k) plans fell last year

Saving for retirement requires looking at the big picture, but it can be dispiriting when your 401(k) or other retirement plan takes a beating — a common plight for American workers last year, according to new data from Fidelity.

The average balance in a 401(k) plan tumbled 20.5% in 2022, reducing employee nest eggs to $103,900 at the end of 2022, Fidelity said on Thursday. That compares with an average balance of $130,700 a year earlier, the financial services firm said, citing an analysis of 22 million retirement plan participants.

401(k) account performance was slightly worse than the S&P 500’s 19.4% slump in 2022. IRA accounts and 403(b) accounts, which are widely used by public schools and charities, also took a hit.

Not surprisingly, anxiety about having enough money socked away for your golden years are also on the rise, with Americans stressed over their declining balances and rising inflation. One recent study found that workers now anticipate they’ll need $1.25 million for a comfortable retirement — a hefty 20% jump from 2021.

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