True, few (save perhaps some on Wall Street) may be going around—at least publicly—singing “Happy Days Are Here Again,” but some eye-opening statistics do bear out that the big picture on retirement funds, on the whole, inspires considerably more financial confidence. A recent story by Phyllis Furman in the New York Daily News, cleverly headlined IT’S (401)DERFUL, notes that “the average balance in a Fidelity Investments 401(k) plan hit a record $77,300 at the end of last year. That’s up 12% from 2011 and marks a huge leap back from the first quarter of 2009 when the stock market crash pushed the average balance down to $46,200. About two-thirds of last year’s gain was attributable to market gains. Retirement savers cleaned up as the S&P soared 13% last year.”
All of this is
music to the ears of investors who netted significant gains by increasing their 401(K) contributions. Bottom line: You don’t necessarily need to be, to quote Oscar Hammerstein II, “A Cockeyed Optimist” to realize that now more than for the last several years, the time (and overall rosier financial outlook) is right to have a fresh conversation with advisors like those at Pension Parameters Financial Services about retirement-plan options tailored to individual needs and expectations.