If you are in your 20’s or 30’s, it is likely you have not thought much about planning for retirement. Saving can be difficult when you are balancing school loans, car payments, and other bills. Making your retirement a priority can be essential to a comfortable lifestyle in your golden years and a 401(k) can be an important tool for starting your savings. While there are many important rules or guidelines to follow when it comes to your 401k account, you may not need to contribute as much as possible to achieve your goals. Look at our top four suggestions to help maximize your 401k for retirement.
- Get started now. While you might not be able to contribute the maximum every year, consider contributing as much as you can. Make it easy by setting up a set dollar amount to come directly out of your paycheck. Trust me, you won’t miss it unless you reach your golden years without it.
- Consider Contributing enough to meet your employer’s match. If your company offers a dollar-to-dollar match up to 3% of your income it may make sense to contribute that 3%, which will give you a total of 6% savings. That’s free money! Find out how much you need to save to qualify for any 401(k) match your employer provides and start saving.
- Do not cash out. Any money you pull out of a 401(k) plan will be subject to federal tax. There is also a 10% penalty if taken out before 59 ½ under most circumstances. It might seem like the right thing to do during a job change or after retirement but consider other possibly less costly options.
- Look into rolling into an IRA. With an IRA you may have more investment options, fees can sometimes be lower, and you may have peace of mind – having all investments in one location.
These guidelines are one way to start getting you on track. If you aren’t saving now, there is no better time to start.