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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.

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