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401k and IRA millionaires

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  • 401k and IRA millionaires

    Record numbers of folks getting rich the old fashioned way, with a million bucks or more in their 401k or IRA.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...-millionaires/

    No crypto required.

    The way this data is reported, only individual retirement accounts with over $1 million are included. If you have over $1 million spread among several retirement accounts, even at a single mutual fund company/administrator, it doesn't count. So the data has limits.

    Still it's a fun game to play. And great to see so many folks getting rich just being steady eddies. A little bit of inflation helps juice the numbers, too.

    What about you? Do you have more than $1 million in any one retirement account?
    59
    I have $1 million or more in a single IRA, 401k, 403b, etc
    37.29%
    22
    I have more than $1 million in retirement accounts but not in any single retirement account
    38.98%
    23
    I do not have $1 million in my retirement accounts put together
    23.73%
    14

  • #2
    Does this include taxable accounts set aside for retirement?

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    • #3
      No, just IRA, 401k, etc - a single such account.

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      • #4
        No, I haven't been out long enough, even with total contribution limits being what they are. Our taxable account is our biggest single account.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post
          No, I haven't been out long enough, even with total contribution limits being what they are. Our taxable account is our biggest single account.
          We've been out almost twenty years but another reason our individual accounts don't hit this threshold is that we put most stocks in taxable and most bonds in tax deferred.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post
            No, I haven't been out long enough, even with total contribution limits being what they are. Our taxable account is our biggest single account.
            I'm in the same boat. With the contribution limit and I am only getting a 3% match I can easily outpace that with taxable investments.

            Unless you are able to contribute quite a bit into one account is going to take some time to build wealth inside one account.

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            • #7
              I have exceeded the $1 million threshold in my 403b, but it took over 20 years to get there. And of course I have other accounts, so they aren't being counted.

              As an aside, I often find the comments on Ms. Singletary's WP articles very depressing. This set is better than average, but there are STILL so many people out there who are absolutely sure the market is rigged against them and 401k plans are a complete ripoff. People seem to want retirement money to simply rain down effortlessly from the sky, and if we just raise taxes on "the rich" we can make that happy outcome happen. Yes, I am happy to acknowledge that the bottom 40% of so of the workforce earns too little to save much, but that is a hollow excuse for the top 60%. And Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffet together don't have enough money to fund everyone's retirement. Maybe we need to stop pretending that they do?
              Last edited by artemis; 02-19-2022, 05:31 PM.

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              • #8
                Conceptually I think it is better to add all the retirement accounts together. Perhaps a better way of thinking about it is pretax amounts and roth amounts. Who has a million in pretax accounts? Who has a million in Roth accounts? Who has a million in taxable accounts? I am working on the Roth accounts now via conversions. I hope to have a million there in the couple of years.

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                • #9
                  Closest is our TSP account; keeps getting close to 1M but then market pulls back!

                  All others mid 6 figures since spreading among several accounts from different jobs and MBDR. -

                  Is there a reason to have a difference between single account vs multiple buckets aside from RMD requirements?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by StarTrekDoc View Post
                    Is there a reason to have a difference between single account vs multiple buckets aside from RMD requirements?
                    Only that the data comes from Fidelity, and it's easier for Fido to track a single type of account than multiple different types of accounts under the same name. And of course, Fido can't track accounts held at other brokerages at all. So obviously the data is undercounting the total retiree wealth.

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                    • #11
                      as with all things this is question is a bit of a proxy for age.

                      have maxed out 401k/403b every year since i finished residency ('12), got decent match (5-6%) and invested extremely aggressively in a stupidly good time to be doing that.

                      i'm not really anywhere close to this figure in a single account, around half at best.

                      i think a better marker is a single account retirement score, i propose the following:

                      (amount in 401k (in millions) / age) x 100

                      =1.25 for me

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                      • #12
                        My husband and I both had the university contributing 14% of our incomes to 401a accounts while worked there so even though I'm only 7 years out of residency we're around 750k in retirement accounts. But they're spread out in like 7 different accounts.

                        Per mpmd's formula we'd be at 1.85. Now that I'm more strongly considering early retirement I wish we had more in taxable but we've got time to catch up there.

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                        • #13
                          This thread is making me feel older/luckier/richer than I felt before I clicked on it.

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                          • #14
                            "And great to see so many folks getting rich just being steady eddies."
                            Not necessarily true. Remember Enron? Company stock was a retirement account savings option. Many had lost $1m in the collapse. Speculation was rampant.
                            Microsoft was a 401k company stock offering as well in the retirement accounts. Company stock was a popular option for quite awhile.

                            Fidelity collects by social security number. They do not link husband and wife.
                            If you have multiple employers and multiple plans (likely) all roll up with the personal IRA, Roth , solo401k with the exception of taxable. Of course they don't get access to Vanguard etc.
                            Flaws in the numbers for sure, but if one has consolidated (which many do) it is just is what it is. In the older age groups, probably more consolidation and lower contributions. Anecdotally, lower workplace balances take effort to consolidate. Might not be as significant of an understatement as one expects. Definitely under counts and no idea how far off it is.

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                            • #15
                              Point - if one stayed in government for TSP for past 20 years with fully funding and match in CFund - they will be in the $1M club AND a nice pension probably worth another $1-1.5M equivalent to boot (physician salary that is)

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