• Employees contributed an average of $6,050 to their 401(k)s this past year; employers contributed an average of an additional $3,540.
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Since 2010, average employee contributions have increased $470, and average employer contributions have gone up $400 for an overall increase of $870 during that four-year period, says Fidelity Investments Vice President Jeanne Thompson.
She says 401(k)s are "the primary retirement vehicle for most American workers, so it's encouraging to see both employees and employers socking away as much as possible."
It has been great to see the market rising, but on Thursday it went down, Thompson says. This is a good time to check your assets and make sure you're comfortable with your investments.
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Some people have 100% of their portfolio in stocks and stock mutual funds, and others have nothing in them, Thompson says. "Neither is a good plan," she says.
If you are 100% invested in stocks and stock mutual funds, you are taking on too much risk, she says. "Similarly, if you have no money in stock mutual funds, you might not earn enough to keep up with inflation."
People who do not have "the will, the skill or the time to manage their retirement investments might benefit more if they had professional management," Thompson says. "You have to turn your 401(k) into a retirement paycheck, and small changes and keeping tabs on it can make a big difference in the long run."
—By Nanci Hellmich, USA Today