What we read about 401k balances
The reference article was showing a breakdown of 401k balances by age group.
They got their numbers from Fidelity, which has over 16 million account holders.
They got the average balances, as well as the Mean balances. The Mean is the balance amount in the middle of the pack. The average is influenced by all accounts and can look higher because of the extremely high accounts held by millionaires in that age group
Here's what they showed for 40-49 and 50-59 year olds.
Average 401(k) balance: $102,700.
Median 401(k) balance: $36,000.
Average 401(k) balance: $174,100.
Median 401(k) balance: $60,900.
Now, the 50-59 group is at the age where they can use catch-up contributions as allowed by the IRS: Participants age 50 and older can contribute an extra $6,000 a year in 2019.
Helpful, but not a huge game changer for many, who cannot afford to make catch-up contributions anyway.