Retirement accounts take hit with inflation, but investors stay the course
New Fidelity study shows investors are still committed for the long haul
It was a rocky second quarter for many Americans who saw their retirement accounts take a hit as inflation roiled the stock market.
However, a new study shows most investors are still committed to the long haul despite uneasiness over volatility.
Fidelity Investment's latest Q2 2022 Retirement Analysis, released Wednesday and viewed ahead of time by FOX Business, shows that while anxiety is high among American retirement savers, folks are overwhelmingly staying the course toward building long-term wealth.
The mutual fund giant found that the average 401(k) balance fell to $103,800 in the second quarter, a 20% drop from the same period a year ago and 15% lower than the first quarter of this year.
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But the data also points to several encouraging trends indicating investors continued to take positive steps in saving for retirement.
Fidelity's survey found that individual retirement account (IRA) savings climbed by double digits since the second quarter of 2021, with striking account growth among younger females with a year-over-year increase of 92% for Gen Z women and 24% for millennials.
The total savings rate also remained high, reaching 13.9%, which is close to Fidelity's suggested savings rate of 15%.
There was a decline in both 401(k) loans initiated and the percentage of workers with a loan outstanding. Only 2.4% of respondents initiated a loan in the second quarter, and the percentage of those with an loan outstanding fell to 16.7%, down from 18.9% in the same quarter of 2020, during the early throes of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study also showed that investors resisted the urge to panic due to the market's dips and turns.
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Fidelity reported that the majority of 401(k) and 403(b) savers did not make any changes to their allocations during the second quarter, and of those who did, 85% only made one. The top change made by respondents involved shifting savings to more conservative investments.
Michael Shamrell, vice president of Fidelity thought leadership, says the findings are a positive sign.
"We try to encourage people to take a long-term approach to retirement savings, so it’s great to see that the majority of retirement savers stayed the course and did not make changes based on the market uncertainty in Q2," Shamrell told FOX Business.
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"Even for people nearing retirement, it’s important to remember that your savings may have to last 15, 20, 25 years after you retire. So you want to continue to take a long-term approach and not make changes based on short-term market swings."