The Average 401K Balance By Age Is Much Higher For People Who Track Their Finances

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average 401K balance by age

Have you ever thought about how much your peer group has saved in their 401k plans? What about how your own 401K might look if you actually maxed out your 401k every year? In a few simple charts below, we will take a look at the actual estimated average 401k balance by age, what your 401K would look like if you maxed it out over time, and the glaring difference between the average 401K balance and the average 401K balance of people who use Personal Capital’s free (and paid) tools.

When Personal Capital pulled this data, they took the latest 401K balance numbers from Vanguard, which is one of the largest 401k plan administrators in the country.

Let’s see how you stack up!

Average 401K Balance By Age In America

22-25 $5,419 $1,817
25-34 $26,839 $10,402
35-44 $72,578 $26,188
45-54 $135,777 $46,363
55-64 $197,322 $69,097
65+ $216,720 $64,548

As we’ve pointed out before, the average 401K balance under 30 is alarmingly low. This just underscores the importance of taking control of your finances at an early age.

Average 401K Balance For People Who Track Their Finances

Per Personal Capital’s internal data, people using their platform (free or paid) have, on average, over three times the 401K balance as a normal 401K holder.

22-24 $24,987 $10,361
25-34 $87,182 $42,015
35-44 $229,375 $111,416
45-54 $443,686 $211,307
55-64 $591,225 $277,543
65+ $471,915 $138,436

It’s not always possible to will yourself to wealth, but by simply caring enough to track your finances, you can clear see how possible it is to change your financial future.

What Maxed Out 401K Balances Look Like By Age

As you’ll see in this chart — which might be sobering for some people — investing the max every year in your 401K would give you plenty of money in retirement. That doesn’t even factor in any additional investments like a brokerage account, real estate crowdfunding or other alternative investments.

22 0 $0 $0
23 1 $8,000.00 $8,000.00
24 2 $27,500.00 $29,700.00
25 3 $47,000.00 $53,136.00
30 8 $144,500.00 $201,624.83
35 13 $242,000.00 $419,803.64
40 18 $339,500.00 $740,379.90
45 23 $437,000.00 $1,211,411.59
50 28 $534,500.00 $1,903,511.67
55 33 $632,000.00 $2,920,433.76
60 38 $729,500.00 $4,414,625.94
65 43 $827,000.00 $6,610,084.46

Yes, you’re reading that correctly. You could have over $6 million in your 401K by age 65 if you max out your account throughout your entire career. There are obviously ebbs and flows in ever career, but even if you’re not perfect and you have some gaps in employment and contributions, you should still be a 401K millionaire by retirement.


Becoming a 401K millionaire is fairly straight forward when you look at it in a chart like the one above. The key is starting early, beginning to max out your contribution from a young age, and never straying from the plan.

C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.

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