Assets in target date mutual funds have tripled since 2008, according to the Investment Company Institute, going from $160 billion at the end of that year to $481 billion at year-end 2012. Concurrently, expenses have dropped.

The median expense ratio for those funds fell from 118 basis points (1.18%) to 104 basis points (1.04%), down almost 12%, while the asset-weighted average expense ratio declined from 67 basis points (0.67%) to 58 basis points (0.58%) in that four-year period, down more than 13%.

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