If you’re retirement plan seems to be circling the drain, it’s not just you, according to an analysis by two Heritage Foundation economists.
It’s happening to everyone.
A total of $2.1 trillion has been wiped from Americans’ 401(k) plans just since the beginning of this year, according to Stephen Moore and E.J. Antoni. The average plan had $135,000 in it on January 1, and that figure has plummeted to $101,000, they said. Couple that with other dismal factors and President Joe Biden’s insistence the economy is healthy doesn’t seem to add up.
“Our economy is strong as hell,” Biden declared this weekend in Oregon between licks of an ice cream cone.
The average American 401k has plummeted by $34,000 this year under Biden.
But he doesn’t care. He’ll just keep munching on his ice cream cones. pic.twitter.com/7MGP0E6xRJ
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) October 17, 2022
Moore, a former economic adviser to ex-President Trump and the co-founder of Committee to Unleash Prosperity, and Antoni reported that monthly savings have collapsed 83%. Inflation, now at over 8% year over year is carving into both paychecks and retirement savings. And the administration’s – and friendly media’s – claim that the U.S. is not currently in a recession runs counter to the longstanding definition, which is two consecutive quarters of negative growth in gross domestic product.
Moore and Antoni wrote that it adds “insult to injury” when inflation results in a de facto pay cut for Americans and their retirement savings are decimated by a bear market. Even the traditionally “safe” alternative of bonds is not a haven from the plunging economy, they wrote.
“Inflation also hurts returns from bonds — which typically account for between 20% and 40% of retirement fund investments,” the pair wrote in a New York Post column. “That is because, as we are now seeing, higher inflation means higher interest rates, which lower the value of the bonds you own.”
The more you’ve saved for your retirement, the more the current economic woes have cost you, wrote Moore and Antoni.
“Let’s say you are doing a little better than average financially and you have a 401(k) plan with $300,000 saved up,” they wrote. “You’re still far from “rich.” Your nest egg losses this year are likely to be above $75,000.
“There goes the down payment on that retirement home or condo in Florida or Arizona. But these numbers don’t even take account of losses in other pension/retirement accounts.”
Folks with pension plans are not safe from the economic havoc, either. U.S. pensions funding has fallen 15% to $24 trillion in assets, wiping out two years’ worth of gains. Unless the losses are recouped, the pension plans will either need a taxpayer bailout or reduce benefits for retirees.