Over the past twelve months, I have watched my 401k steadily grow. It is so exciting considering how much I’d lost in previous years. I know that it is not the end of the year yet, but thus far, I am up 14.8%! I am completely happy with that return!
This made me a little curious. I noticed that I was able to see my account information up to 24 previous months. This is where I was at:
4th Quarter 2008:
I started at $15,282.57
Ended at $12,450.17
That is a -19.7% loss Q4 2008. Ouch!
2009 numbers were:
Started at $12,450.17
Ended at $20,732.80
This year, I started at $20,732.80 and am currently at $26,904.11. I put in a little over $2,000 thus far (5% of my income,) my employer put in almost $900, and the market increased more than the two put together.
If I put nothing else into my 401k, assuming an 8% return from today until I retire in 30 years, my balance would be: $271,691.70. Assuming 10% return, I’d have $471,133.90. Lastly, assuming a 12% return (as Dave Ramsey does,) I’d have: $808,917.90. Wow. What a difference between an 8% return and 12% return. Of course, once the debts are paid off and the 3 month emergency fund is in place, we will be increasing our contributions from 5% to 15%. The numbers above are my 401k only. Todd just started investing in his at work, and is doing well, considering it’s the first year. Investing 15% of our income is a bit scary, because that’s an additional $500/month that would go toward investments. How in the world are we supposed to pay down our mortgage when we have that chunk going into a Roth IRA? I’m sure when the time comes, we’ll figure it out.