Tag Archives: Fidelity

Saving and Investing for Retirement: Part Four

Generating Income: Part Four of Our Special Five Part Series

During their working years, investors focus on saving and investing with a goal of building wealth.  As they enter retirement, either by ceasing paid employment entirely or by scaling back paid employment, investors shift their focus to using their portfolios to provide a reliable long-term stream of income.  This transition from building wealth to income generation is the subject of a great deal of research in retirement planning.  Once investors are at or near retirement, the most significant financial challenge is using their accumulated savings to provide substantial income for their retirement years.  Continue reading

Saving and Investing for Retirement: Part Three

Realities of Investing: Part Three of Our Special Five Part Series

In the various calculations that project retirement portfolio accumulations through time (such as the two discussed in the previous article), there are assumptions about how investors will allocate their savings and how those investments will perform.  In the case of the Fidelity study, no specific asset allocation is provided that would achieve the assumed risk-free 5.5% annual return.  In the Ibbotson study, the authors assume that investors hold a combination of a stock index fund and a bond index fund that progressively allocates less to stocks and more to bonds as investors get older.  The Ibbotson study also assumes that the stock index (the S&P 500) will have an average annual return of 10.96% per year and that the bond index will have an average return of 4.6% per year.  The Ibbotson study ignores expenses associated with investing. Continue reading

Saving and Investing for Retirement: Part Two

Figuring Out Whether You Are On Track: Part Two of Our Special Five Part Series

Fidelity just came out with a study that estimates that people will need about eight times their final salary level, assuming they work until age sixty seven, to be able to retire and subsequently to have 85% of their pre-retirement income provided from retirement savings plus social security.  Fidelity also helpfully provides estimates of what they believe people need to have acquired at different ages. Continue reading

Are Americans Saving Enough for Retirement?

Have retirement accounts balances rebounded from the financial crisis?

Reports from both Vanguard and Fidelity put the average balance for U.S. 401(k) plans at a record $75,000 (as of March 31, 2011). The first report, released from Fidelity in May, showed that the average 401(k) balance rose to $74,900—up 12% over the last year. This marked an all-time high since Fidelity began tracking account balances back in 1998. Fidelity is the largest single administrator of 401(k) plans, with 11 million accounts, so these numbers are of considerable interest to me.

Vanguard also announced that the average balance of its 401(k) accounts rose to about $75,000 in its annual How America Saves 2011 report.

At first glance, the numbers are compelling and encouraging. Both Vanguard and Fidelity report the largest increase in contributions since both firms started tracking this data (in 1999 and in 1998, respectively). However we need to take a closer look to see Continue reading