Nest Eggs Across America: Where Do the Best Savers Live?

Nest Eggs Across America: Where Do the Best Savers Live?

NorCal: It’s the land of brilliant sunshine, redwood forests … and retirement preparedness.

According to a new survey conducted by Fidelity Investments, residents of San Jose, Calif., save the most for retirement, putting more than 11% of their salary into their workplace retirement savings plan.

Employees in El Paso, Tex., on the other hand, save the least, socking away only 5.7% of their income.


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This research isn’t the first to suggest geographic differences in the way people save for retirement. A 2013 Merrill Edge survey found that Westerners have fatter 401(k)s than people living in other parts of the country.

That’s possibly because the high cost of living in California, in particular, means that people need to save more for their future. Californians also rake in a higher annual salary, on average, than residents of other states, and higher-paid workers tend to save more for retirement.

But when it comes to employers’ willingness to help workers plan for their golden years, the data is pretty different. The Fidelity survey found that average employer matching contributions hit a low of 3.5% in San Jose, and reach a high of 5.8% in Richmond, Va.

One potential explanation for this disparity is the prevalence of tech companies in California. In many cases, those companies offer other forms of compensation, such as stock options, and are less inclined to match 401(k) contributions, MarketWatch reports. San Jose is also home to a number of startups, and few small companies actually offer retirement benefits.

Now that you’ve learned how your retirement planning habits compare to the rest of the country’s, keep the competition alive and find out how other people in your age group save for the future.


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