Time in the market can produce outstanding results. People who regularly put money into their retirement savings plans tend to beat the account balances of the average worker, according to a 2016 study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute of 8 million plan participants from 2010 to 2014.
Nearly 20 percent of workers who regularly contributed over the four years studied had more than $200,000 in their 401(k) plan accounts, while another 16 percent had accumulated balances between $100,000 and $200,000, the researchers found. Meanwhile, the average worker had roughly $60,000 to $76,000 in their accounts for the same period.
“The most powerful factors that you have control over when saving for retirement are the amount that you’re regularly contributing and how early you start,” said Alexander Rupert, a CFP and assistant portfolio manager at Laurel Tree Advisors in Cleveland.