Outside the Box: This is what it really takes to become a 401(k) millionaire

The current retirement system leaves much to be desired.

There are a decent number of people taking advantage of tax-deferred savings vehicles, but it’s a fairly small number that ever reaches millionaire status in these accounts.

In Fidelity’s defined-contribution plan, there are roughly 157,000 people who have saved at least $1 million in their 401(k). There are another 148,000 people who have saved $1 million or more in an IRA. That’s only 1% or so of Fidelity’s total retirement-plan participants.

There’s nothing special about hitting the $1 million mark. Most people will likely never get there (the current number of millionaires in the U.S.

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