A closer look at how Americans are preparing for retirement


  • Gen Z’s retirement savings in America have increased significantly, with their average 401(k) account balances growing by 34% over the last year, the highest increase among all generational cohorts.
  • The average 401(k) balance for Gen Z is around $7,100, while the median balance is about $2,500. This disparity is due to high-balance accounts impacting the average figure.
  • Fidelity Investments suggests that the ‘savings rate’, the proportion of pre-tax income allocated to retirement savings, is a good measure of retirement preparedness.

As America’s youngest working generation, Gen Z, engages more actively in retirement savings, fascinating trends are emerging. Their account balances are growing at an unprecedented rate, outpacing other generations.

This pattern has financial analysts and investors intrigued and suggests a new level of fiscal savvy among Gen Z.

A new breed of investors: Gen Z surpasses expectations

In an era marked by financial volatility, the youngest generation in the American workforce is setting a new trend. Gen Z, comprised of individuals born between 1997 and 2012, has seen a remarkable increase of 34% in their average 401(k) account balances over a single year.

The data, derived from a comprehensive retirement analysis conducted by Fidelity Investments, highlighted this growth as the most substantial amongst all generational cohorts.

With their early foray into the workforce, Gen Z’s average 401(k) balance stands at approximately $7,100. The disparity between this figure and the median balance of $2,500 for the same demographic reflects the impact of accounts with substantial balances on the average figure.

However, both numbers indicate a noteworthy commitment to retirement savings among America’s youngest workers.

The phenomenon of higher account growth among the youth is a logical outcome of the dynamics of percentage growth. Smaller balances, when bolstered by steady contributions, register a larger percentage increase in value.

Nevertheless, the dedication to long-term financial security that Gen Z’s savings pattern demonstrates is heartening.

Retirement preparedness: The role of savings rates

Turning our gaze toward broader American society, a closer examination of how the country prepares for the sunset years uncovers some interesting insights.

The average 401(k) balance across America stands at $108,200, while the median rests around $23,700. These figures, while impressive, can appear intimidating to young workers just beginning their savings journey.

Fidelity Investments offers a different perspective to help individuals measure their progress. They propose using the ‘savings rate’ as a barometer of retirement readiness.

This metric, the proportion of your pre-tax income allocated to retirement savings, provides a more personalized assessment of your readiness for retirement.

The recommended savings rate stands at 15%, inclusive of both personal and employer contributions where applicable. This figure is suggested as an attainable target for individuals aiming to maintain their lifestyle post-retirement.

However, it is by no means a hard-and-fast rule. A slower start to savings is common, with Gen Z’s average savings rate hovering around 10.5%, and millennials at around 12.9%.

A commitment to steady, incremental increases in contributions can significantly boost retirement savings over time. For instance, Fidelity suggests an annual increase of 1% in retirement contributions, a goal easily achievable by most individuals.

A seemingly small step, when taken consistently over 20 or 30 years, can have a dramatic impact on the overall size of retirement savings.

As America collectively saves for retirement, the strategy and resolve demonstrated by Gen Z underscore a promising trend. The climb to financial security in retirement may seem steep, but as Gen Z has shown, taking small, consistent steps now can lead to substantial strides later.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Written by Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is an enthusiastic writer whose current area of interest is the blockchain sector. Whenever she is not reading or writing, you can find her tending to her plants in the garden. She strongly believes that crypto is going to transform the world for the better.