Will My 401k Double Every Seven Years?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Factors Influencing 401k Growth

  • Market Performance: The growth of a 401k is primarily driven by market performance, specifically the performance of the investments within the 401k portfolio.
  • Investment Choices: Diverse investment choices, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, impact growth rates.
  • Contribution Levels: Regular contributions increase the principal amount, influencing overall growth.

The Rule of 72

  • The Rule of 72: Estimates the years to double an investment with a fixed annual return rate.
  • Formula: 72 / annual rate of return = approximate years to double.
  • Example: At an 8% return rate, 72 / 8 = 9 years to double.

401k vs. Deferred Annuities

  • Deferred Annuity: Offers a contractual guarantee, providing more predictable growth.
  • Rolling Over to Deferred Annuity: This can offer better forecasting than a variable nature of a 401k.

Making Informed Decisions

  • Consult Financial Advisors: Always consult with a financial advisor for personalized advice.
  • Risk Assessment: Understand your risk tolerance and investment horizon.
  • Diversification: Diversify investments to mitigate risks.

401k Growth Comparison

Investment TypeEstimated Doubling Time (Years)Risk LevelPredictability
Standard 401kVaries (7-10 years on average)ModerateVariable
Deferred AnnuityFixed period (based on contract)LowHigh


While there’s no guarantee that a 401k will double every seven years, understanding the factors that influence growth and considering alternatives like deferred annuities can provide more predictable outcomes. Making informed decisions based on personal financial goals and market conditions is crucial. Remember, a well-planned investment strategy is key to maximizing your retirement savings.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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