401K

What to Do With an Old 401(k)

It’s a question my clients ask me all the time: “What should I do with my old 401(k)?” When you change jobs, you can keep your 401(k) where it is, or roll it to other accounts.

Let’s examine your choices:

Roll your 401(k) to an individual retirement account is usually the default option I recommend to clients. Flexibility is the primary reason.

Staying on Top of a 401(k)

Lots of investors never bother to check on their 401(k) regularly. But you should keep a constant eye on your funds’ risk level, whether your asset allocation is out of whack and if your beneficiaries still are the ones you want.

When you first start a job and join a 401(k) or another employer-sponsored retirement savings plan, you fill out a few forms, decide how much you want to contribute, and you pick some investment options.

Allocation in Your 401(k)

When you participate in your employer-sponsored retirement plan, your must first determine how much money to put into the plan. Next: Allocate funds within your account to make the most money. This can be the tricky part.

How to Get Back Into Stocks

Is it too late to get back into the booming stock market? You were better off riding out the downturn and enjoying the subsequent run-up. Still, if you are late to this party, there still are smart ways to re-enter.

Many investors are returning at this late date. "Retirement Investors Flock Back to Stocks" was the front-page headline of The Wall Street Journal on May 2. I retweeted it to my Twitter feed, adding, "Just In Time To Ride Them To The Bottom Again."

Mechanics of 401(k)s (Pt. 3)

Yes, you can tap your 401(k) for a loan even before your legal withdrawal age, although turning elsewhere to borrow is usually a better idea. You should know the rules and pitfalls built into 401(k) lending. They are many.

Mechanics of 401(k)s (Pt. 2)

How do you take money out of a retirement plan? This is tricky, because one wrong move can cost you in taxes and penalties. The process is complicated, to say the least.

Nothing in Your Nest Egg?

Afraid you don’t save enough for retirement? You’re far from alone. But what does such a future look like for you? Is it possible to play catch up?

The latest Country Financial retirement Financial Security Index shows that one in four Americans across all age groups saves nothing at all for retirement. A slim majority of respondents (55%) either don’t participate in a workplace-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k) or don’t even know if they are in a plan.

When to Call a Professional

Can you handle your investments on your own? Some can. Many can’t. That’s not to say that you don’t have the brains for it. You may simply lack the time to master the investing world. That’s when you should consult a professional financial advisor.

Mechanics of 401(k)s (Pt. 1)

Many folks have a retirement plan, such as a 401(k), available from their employers. It is a relatively straightforward savings vehicle, but can still be very confusing if you don’t know what exactly is under the hood.

When you sign up for your company’s retirement plan, there are a few things you need to decide. Examine the mechanism carefully, because your livelihood in retirement depends on these decisions you make now.

Here are some questions you may encounter when you start a 401(k) plan:

Biz Owners’ Retirement Plans

Being your own boss means providing for your own retirement. It means that there isn’t an employer looking over your shoulder who will sign you up for a plan. You have to be more proactive in setting the money aside. But how?

Having a variable income, which is often the case for people who own their own businesses, may make it harder to budget. When it comes to saving for your future self, where do you start and which is the best option? Read on for an overview of three retirement accounts that are great options for entrepreneurs.

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