Q1 2019 Retirement Trends

Fidelity recently published their Q1 2019 retirement trends and there are some encouraging things going on.

Here are some of their findings:

The participation rate in defined contribution plans keeps getting better and better. 

The average savings rate  is at an all-time high.

The average 401(k) balance is up 466% (from $52,600 in Q1 2009 to $297,700 today).

The average balance for people who have been continuously invested for 15 years is almost $400,000.

Usually when we talk about retirement, it’s not in a positive light. While it’s true that too many people are going to struggle to make ends meet in the later years of their life, it’s nice to see so many people making a concerted effort to plan for their future.

IKEA Facts

  • Approximately 1 in 10 Europeans were conceived on an IKEA bed.
  • IKEA uses 530 million cubic feet of wood each year, about 1 percent of the entire world’s usage.
  • A Billy bookshelf is sold every 7 seconds.
  • The largest IKEA store is in South Korea. At 640,000 square feet, it’s almost 12 times larger than the White House.
  • There are more IKEA catalogs printed annually than copies of the Christian Bible. About 3 times as many copies.
  • IKEA’s first mainstream TV commercial in the US from 1994 featured a gay couple before it was commonplace. It was pulled shortly after due to bomb threats.
  • 75% of the IKEA catalog is not actually photos of the merchandise, but in fact just CGI renderings.
  • IKEA once let loose 100 cats in a store to see what would happen and turned it into a cool ad.
  • In certain regions, IKEA sells flat-pack houses you build yourself for under $100k.
  • Before opening the first store in Bangkok, IKEA hired translators to ensure none of the product names would translate into sexual acts in the local language.
  • 54% of IKEA employees are women.
  • 1 billion meatballs are sold in IKEA stores worldwide every year.
  • IKEA sells $1.5 billion in food every year, making them the 10th largest food retailer in the world.
  • In 2009, IKEA changed the typeface in their catalog from Futura to Verdana, causing minor uproar among font and furniture fans.