During this time of high inflation and increased interest rates, investors are nervous about finances.
The number of people who have negative feelings about financial matters has increased over the past year.
That’s according to a 3Q analysis of savings behaviors and account balances from Fidelity Investments.
The percentage of people who feel negative has increased to 32% in the past year and is higher than the 30% who have positive feelings.
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A year ago, 45% felt positive, which was double the percentage of those who had negative feelings.
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Investors remained bullish on retirement savings despite sliding balances.
Average retirement account balances declined for the third quarter in a row.
The average 401(k) balance fell below the six-figure mark to $97,200 this quarter, down 22.9% from a year ago, 6% from Q2 2022, and up 28% from a decade ago.
The average IRA balance was $101,900 in Q3, down 24.9% from Q3 2021, down 8% from last quarter, and up 33% from a decade ago.
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The recent analysis revealed several silver linings.
Although average account balances declined, the data suggests that retirement savers kept their eyes on the prize and remained strong with their retirement goals.
The number of IRAs on Fidelity’s platform continued to grow, and the percentage of employees with 401(k) loans remained low for the sixth consecutive quarter.
“The market has taken some dramatic turns this year, including last October’s best month since 1976,” said Kevin Barry, president of Workplace Investing at Fidelity Investments. “Retirement savers wisely chose to avoid the drama and continue to make smart choices for the long term.”
While people continue to invest in their retirement accounts, their savings rates have declined slightly.
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The combination of employer and employee 401(k) contributions remained fairly steady at 13.8%, but below the percentages in the previous two quarters and is just below Fidelity’s recommended savings rate of 15%.
Fidelity Investments is the provider of IRA No. 1 America with 35 million IRA, 401(k), and 403(b) retirement accounts.