Good news and bad news about America’s retirement accounts

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Good news and bad news about America’s retirement accounts
A survey by the Survey of Consumer Finances has found that the average IRA and 401(k) balances of American working households rose to $135,000 last year from $111,000 in 2013, according to this article in MarketWatch. While the averages increased markedly, however, the amounts varied significantly by income levels, write Alicia H. Munnell, director of Boston College's Center for Retirement Research. Balances for the highest quintile were $780,000 in 2016, a dramatic increase from $452,000 in 2013. In contrast, for the lowest quintile, balances amounted to only $26,700. Moreover, a significant percentage of households have no 401(k) balances at all.

What's the best way to invest $100,000 in today's market?
First-time investors may want to time their entry into the stock market, but this would force them to wait longer than anticipated to get the right time, according to this article on CNNMoney. They may also opt for dollar-cost averaging or invest their funds gradually, but this would make them miss out on potential returns, as the stock markets usually rally for a longer period and slow down for a shorter time. A recommended strategy is to have a portfolio with good asset allocation.

Retirees, start a nonprofit to serve a need
Retirees may want to establish a nonprofit to pursue a cause they are passionate about, according to this article on Kiplinger. However, this can be challenging, and retirees will need advice from experts, create a multiyear business plan, choose members for the board of directors, create bylaws and identify sources of funds. “This takes quite a bit of work, so you want to make sure you are fully committed,” says a retiree who put up a nonprofit.

What really happens when you retire?
Many seniors claim that they are stuck to doing the same chores every day after they retire and fail to break the cycle, writes an expert on Forbes. Many new retirees used their parents as role models, only to realize later on that they should have created a plan to handle their new life, writes the expert. Others are struggling to find new parameters for gauging whether they are making a successful transition.

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Retirement readiness Retirement income Roth 401(k) IRAs Investment strategies Alicia Munnell