He has held more than 200 jobs in his impressive seven-decade career, holding everything from nursing and agriculture to even running for president.
But at 64, Barbie is at the average age most Americans start to withdraw from their 401(K). And with so many pots to consolidate, it’s no small feat.
Experts estimate the single, childless doll should have around $3.5 million stashed away, assuming she’s been making the maximum contributions possible since the retirement plan was introduced in 1978.
The figure also assumes he took full advantage of catch-up contributions that allow workers age 50 and older to add up to $7,500 to their 401(K) each year.
As Barbie-mania takes over thanks to Margot Robbie’s $85 million blockbuster, Dailymail.com takes a look at Barbie’s illustrious career and how it’s earned her such a fortune for retirement.
Barbie burst onto the scene in 1959, making her now 64, the age most Americans begin to retire into their 401(K)s.
Experts estimate the single, childless doll should have around $3.5 million stashed away, assuming she’s been making maximum contributions since the retirement plan was introduced in 1978. Pictured: A 1960s nurse Barbie compared to a 2010s robotics engineer Barbie
Barbie burst into the world in 1959 dressed only in a black and white bathing suit. At the time, she was billed as a ‘teenage fashion model’.
Just three years earlier, in 1956, American beauty Suzy Parker became the first model to earn $100,000 a year, or about $1 million in today’s money. Certainly at the top of her game, it’s safe to assume that Barbie got a similar sum.
In the 1960s, she became a fashion designer, a flight attendant, and then a nurse. According to data from the Federal Reserve of St. Louisa registered nurse in 1965 earned just $2.88 per hour.
As the 1970s progressed, Barbie again changed careers and became a surgeon and even went back to her origins as a model. However, perhaps her most famous run in that decade was as an Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater.
She was likely modeled after American figure skater Janet Lynn, who took home the bronze model at the 1972 Olympics. A year later, Lynn signed a three-year contract worth $1.46 million, or about $400,000 a year.
A decade later, a ‘rock star’ Barbie, complete with electric guitar, appeared on the scene. She was inspired by the likes of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. Today, those two stars have a net worth of $850 million and $50 million respectively.
In the 1990s, she became a ‘business executive’; at the same time, US CEOs earned an average of $2.2 million.
By the time the 2000s rolled around, Barbie was on a new adventure, taking on the role of a TV chef modeled after the likes of Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart. In 2008, Ray was earning $18 million a year, according to Forbes.
Barbie then transitioned into a robotics engineer and a scientist in the 2010s and 2020s, respectively. Today these races can expect to earn someone $94,000 and $96,000 a year, Indeed show the numbers.
An Olympic figure skating Barbie was born in the 1970s, on the left, followed by an 1980s “rock star” Barbie, on the right
What’s in Barbie’s 401(K)?
When Barbie was born in 1959, the 401(K) didn’t exist. In fact, for much of the early years of her work, Americans barely saved for retirement plans.
In the 1950s, only about 25 percent of private workers, or 10 million, contributed to a pension, according to the financial planning website. Earring.
But certified financial planner Andrew Latham, who serves as chief content officer at super moneyhe estimates that Barbie will have caught up quickly.
He told Dailymail.com: “We can safely assume that she has made the maximum 401(k) contributions allowed since the program began in 1978 and took advantage of the contributions to catch up when she turned 50.”
‘Barbie is a financial superstar and invested her 401(k) in a diversified portfolio that has delivered an average annual return of 7 percent.
“Now at 64 and still as fabulous as ever, her 401(k) account balance is around $3.5 million.”
Americans are subject to a maximum amount they can pay into their 401(K), though this varies by year.
In the 2000s, she became a TV chef, inspired by Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray. Ray made $18 million a year in 2008
For example, in 2023, workers can contribute $22,500 a year to their retirement plan. This is an increase from $20,500 in 2022.
However, when the scheme was first launched in 1978, workers were entitled to save up to $45,475.
But workers over the age of 50 also have the right to make ‘updating contributions’. These can be as much as $7,500 a year, up to a total cap of $30,000.
Starting next year, these rules will change, meaning “catch-up contributions” must be placed in a Roth IRA instead of a standard 401(K).
What should she do now?
With so many different 401(K) funds, Barbie faces an uphill battle trying to consolidate them all.
Rita Assaf, Vice President of Retirement Products at fidelity investmentsHe said: ‘When you leave an employer, you have a few options for your old 401(k): keep it with your old employer, roll the money over to an IRA, roll over to a new employer’s plan, or get paid.
“Depending on what Barbie did after leaving each of her 200 jobs, she may have assets in 401(k)s from various employers, as well as a few Rollover IRAs.”
Assaf recommends that you consult a financial planner to find out exactly how to take control of your savings.
There are also a number of tax traps you should be aware of. These include required minimum distributions (RMDs), which dictate how much a saver must withdraw each year once they reach age 73.
“You should consider how this will affect your overall income and taxes at that time, and consult with a tax professional to understand how these distributions may affect your tax bracket,” Assaf said.
Additionally, Barbie now faces the decision to start receiving Social Security payments.
A 2022 ‘Scientist’ Barbie, left, could expect to earn around $94,000 a year, while a ‘Business Executive’ Barbie was born in the 1990s, right, when American CEOs were earning $2.2 million a year.
Barbie mania has taken over the US this summer thanks to the blockbuster movie starring Margot Robbie, pictured
Americans can start claiming Social Security between the ages of 62 and 70. However, the longer they delay making this decision, the more they will benefit.
This is because the IRS gives retirees additional ‘delayed retirement credits’ for every money they delay filing.
Much of this decision also depends on someone’s “full retirement age,” which is set at the year they are born.
Those born between 1959 and 1959 – like Barbie – have a ‘full retirement age’ of 66 and 10 months. This is the age at which they are entitled to their maximum Social Security payments.
They can request payments in advance, but this will generate a deduction. For example, someone born in 1960 who begins receiving the benefit will only be entitled to 70 percent of it. This increases to 75 percent when they turn 63, 80 percent when they turn 64, and 86.67 percent when they turn 65. They will only receive the full benefit at age 67.
But for every year it takes them to take the benefit, they increase in value. For example, if someone born in 1960 waits until age 70 to claim Social Security, she will receive 124 percent of the standard payment. In 2023, the average benefit is $15,189 per year.
Financial planner Marissa Reale said: “Barbie doesn’t need the money, she should wait until age 70 to receive Social Security to get the full benefit.”