Instead of focusing on mutual fund picking, people investing for retirement should just make sure they stay with a 401(k) savings plan, Reuters reports.
Citing a joint study by the Investment Company Institute and the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Reuters notes that workers can contribute up to $13,000 in tax-deferred money to 401(k) plans, and including all sources like employer matches, they can put up whatever is less between $41,000 and 100% of salary.
One of the studys key findings is that even when stocks go sour, an individuals retirement plan will only go slightly sour. Even if a 50-year low smacks the stock market, a 401(k) holder would still be able to gain 72% to 92% of his or her money.
The study also found that those who invest in their 401(k) plan throughout their careers will end up with between 83% and 103% of their pre-retirement income through a combination of their retirement savings and Social Security. Those who invest only partially through their career are likely to end up with between 42% and 75% of their income.
After analyzing the records of 45,000 401(k) plans, ICI and ERBI found that half the people who changed jobs in 2002 cashed out 401(k) plans. Those individuals lost ground against people who stay in the 401(k)s.