A 401(k) account is a tax-deferred retirement savings account setup by many employers for their employees in the United States. Employees can elect to contribute part of their earnings - either pre-tax or after-tax - to their 401k account and the employer will often make a matching contribution for ...

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50
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10answers
6k views

Should you always max out contributions to your 401k?

I am a year out of college, and therefore, i don't have any real retirement/investment plans kicked off. I was having a discussion with my boss, and he was making a few claims I would like to get ...
37
votes
2answers
4k views

When is employer 401(k) match not worth it?

I have always read to take full advantage of your employer 401(k) match. But what if the match is lower than most? My employer will match 10% of my contributions, up to the legal contribution limit. ...
36
votes
4answers
5k views

Justification for aggressive investment strategy when young?

I've frequently heard that the conventional wisdom is to be invested in an 'aggressive' investment strategy when young, and as you approach retirement age, migrate to a more conservative strategy. ...
36
votes
4answers
3k views

Recent graduate with new job: Choose Roth 401(k), or traditional 401(k)?

I just graduated, and I'm starting a new job soon. My employer has pretty good policy for matching 401(k) contributions, so I want to invest as much as possible, especially during this first year. My ...
23
votes
3answers
5k views

If I switch jobs to a lower tax bracket right before I retire, do I save on 401k taxes?

I'm curious about how your withdrawal tax bracket is determined for your 401k Here are the scenarios: A) Let's say I am making $100,000-$200,000 per year for my whole career with a Traditional 401k. ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Started new job. Rollover previous employer 401k to new 401k, IRA or Roth IRA?

I recently started a new job and have a 401k from my previous employer that I don't know what to do with. Should I roll it into my new employer's 401k, a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA?
22
votes
3answers
390 views

Do traditional and Roth 401k have the same annual contribution limit?

According to everything I can find, the annual contribution limit for both traditional and Roth 401k is the same ($16500 in 2010). Since the Roth is post-tax, doesn't that mean I can save more for ...
21
votes
7answers
26k views

Can my employer limit my maximum 401k contribution amount (below the IRS limit)?

I contribute about 13% of my income to my company's 401k, which, at my salary, is well below the IRS limit of $17K/year (in 2012). However, with my raise this year, my benefits department told me that ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Laid off at age 54 1/2, am I eligible to withdraw my 401k money without penalty?

I will be turing 55 this year in November. I got laid off 2 weeks ago (April 4, 2016). I worked in New York City and live in NJ. Can I withdraw my 401k without penalty?
19
votes
10answers
1k views

Any experience with maxing out 401(k)?

I'm 23 right now, and I'm currently contributing about 6% of my salary to a 401(k) with an employer that matches 20% of my contribution up to 6%. Based on various calculators, continuing at this rate ...
19
votes
5answers
5k views

Ideal net worth by age X? Need comparison references

Is there a website resource that gives suggestions for how much savings or net worth I should have at any given age, based on my education level and salary? I'm in my 30s, have no debt, and have been ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

Would it be advantageous for me to pay off these two credit cards and cancel them with a 401k loan?

I'm considering taking a loan on my 401k in order to pay off and close 2 credit cards. I have approximately 30 years until I consider retiring. The amount of the loan will be $1700 which is less ...
18
votes
5answers
767 views

How much should I be contributing to my 401k given my employer's contribution?

I realize that this is similar to at least one question here, however, there are some differentiators. I can contribute a max of 5% of my net salary to the 401k fund. The employer matches 50% of ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

401k Contribution When Employer Has No Match?

Hey everyone! Long time lurker, first time asker here. I've seen some similar questions to mine here, but nothing exactly in the same circumstance. I've seen almost near-consensus that the ordering ...
18
votes
3answers
477 views

Why is there such disparity of max contribution limits between 401K accounts and regular IRA accounts?

In 2011, regular IRA accounts allowed only $5,000 maximum contribution, while 401K accounts allowed up to $16,500. Why is there such a disparity? Why do tax advantages favor employees of large ...
16
votes
8answers
817 views

Pay off credit card debt or earn employer 401(k) match?

Should a person with high credit card debt pay it off before contributing to a 401(k) with matching?
16
votes
1answer
711 views

Employer time requirements to transfer from paycheck to 401(k)

Are there any rules or requirements as to a time frame of when money is removed from a paycheck and when the money is posted into a retirement account? My current 401(k) receives funds from my ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

How to invest after 401k and Roth IRA are maxed?

I'm in my 20's. I'm a big saver and I think I've covered the basics, including: Paying off all high interest (>3%) debt. Getting the full company match out of my 401k. Maxing out my Roth IRA for the ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it better to use a 401k loan to make a down payment or to put less than 20% down?

I'm about to buy a house and am considering two options: Make a 12% down payment and pay for mortgage insurance Take out a 401k loan and make a 20% down payment I'm having a hard time finding ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Accidentally cashed out 401k instead of rolling it into an IRA. What do i do?

I've recently changed jobs (past two weeks) from an employer with a 401k to a new employer who does not offer any retirement accounts. I made a huge mistake and accidentally cashed out my 401k ...
15
votes
3answers
588 views

Quit my job: What can/should I do with funds in previous employer's 401(k) plan?

I recently changed jobs, and my previous employer offered a 401k. I know I can roll that money into an IRA. Before I do anything, I would like to understand what options I have, and which option is ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Is an employer within their rights to limit 401k contributions to 25% of compensation?

I would like to ask a specific question regarding employer limitations on 401k contributions. I have read other posts in the forum that explain that limitations often exist on highly compensated ...
14
votes
6answers
7k views

Why do some companies offer 401k retirement plans?

Why do companies offer 401k (or other) retirement plans? Let me elaborate this... I understand that it could be part of an employee's benefits and that a retirement plan option might increase the ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Confusion about Roth 401K: Better for me to do pre-tax or Roth post-tax contributions?

My company offers a 401K and a Roth 401K. Given the income level of my family (married filing jointly status), IRAs aren't really an option. We're past the Roth IRA limits and get no deduction for a ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why would you not want to rollover a previous employer's 401(k) when changing jobs?

Are there any valid reasons to not rollover a former 401(k) when changing jobs? I have several little ones that I never quite got around to rolling together - with an upcoming job change, should they ...
13
votes
1answer
9k views

Can I make a lump sum contribution to my employer's 401(k) plan?

I recently sold a rental property and have a surplus of cash sitting around. If possible, I'd like to make a lump sum contribution to my employer's 401(k) plan. Is that possible? Or would I need to ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Want to retire at 55, but 401(k) starts paying at 59.5 years old

Right now, I am on my late 20's, and I have this plan on retiring at 55 years old, instead of the usual retirement age of 62. For this, I plan to save money enough to cover my expenses from the day of ...
12
votes
2answers
974 views

Do Roth IRA contribution limits apply to Rollover IRAs?

My wife has already maxed out a Roth IRA for 2010. She just quit her job, and has a 401k from her former employer. Would I be able to roll it into a new Roth IRA even though she has already ...
12
votes
4answers
10k views

Can I roll over a 401k with my current employer into an IRA?

My wife has a 401k with her employer that she has been contributing to for years. They recently switched administrators for the 401k, and the new outfit is simply terrible - bad fund choices and ...
11
votes
6answers
6k views

Why should one only contribute up to the employer's match in a 401(k)?

On a recent edition of Jim Cramer's Mad Money, he urgently (does he do things otherwise?) recommended that you ONLY contribute up to the employer's match in your 401(k) and put the rest of what you ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Any compelling reason to contribute to a 401k if my employer doesn't match?

My employer does not match 401k contributions at all. Currently, I do not make any contributions to a 401k or an IRA due to a need for liquidity. Aside from the obvious gains incurring no tax ...
11
votes
2answers
476 views

Pros, cons, & differences in investing in 401k vs. IRA?

What are some of the pros, cons, and differences of investing in a 401k vs. investing in an IRA (either Roth IRA or regular)?
11
votes
2answers
3k views

How do loans against 401k / 403b accounts work?

I'm really clueless about these loans. Who gets the interest? Does the account fund the loan, or are they simply used as collateral? What are the tax implications?
11
votes
3answers
3k views

What is most time-efficient way to track portfolio asset allocation?

I've recently decided I wanted to track my investments over time so that I could accurately determine really cool financial things like: My actual asset allocation My actual rate of return over time ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

Why is a Roth 401(k) good if there is a long time before retirement?

This article from Fidelity mentions that the longer you have before retirement, the more likely it is that you should choose a Roth 401(k) over a traditional 401(k). This point is mentioned ...
10
votes
6answers
867 views

An index fund in my 401k performed very well this year. How to deal with the gains?

I'm 34. 100% of my 401k goes into an S&P index fund. I'm up about 25% this year. If this were in my brokerage account I'd probably cash out some of the profits and hold onto it and buy more ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What happens to 401(k) money that isn't used by the time the account holder dies?

What happens to un-withdrawn 401(k) funds upon the death of the account holder? Can they be transferred to an heir? What are the tax implications (if any) of this?
10
votes
1answer
856 views

Employer match after tax?

My employer matches 2% of my contributions to my 401k but insists those contributions cannot be pre-tax. Is that correct?
10
votes
3answers
12k views

Could a 401k or IRA contribution switch my current taxable income to a lower tax bracket? is this the same for traditional and Roth 401k?

In the case that my annual income is right in the limit between one tax bracket and the next tax bracket. Can contributing to a 401k or IRA reduce your present income declaration in such a way that ...
10
votes
5answers
582 views

Does my company's 401k plan provider matter to me?

My company is about to change the 401k provider it uses from one major provider to another. Does this matter to me, provided my company doesn't change any of it's benefits policies?
10
votes
3answers
417 views

How much should I contribute to my 401(k)?

My employer allows me to contribute a certain percentage of my salary to my 401(k). My employer will also match a certain portion of my percentage. How much should I invest in my 401(k)? Should I ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

401(k) forfeited and check issued. What can I do to avoid penalty?

Recently, I checked the website of the last 401(k) plan that I contributed. I found that the account was "forfeited", which I assume it means that it was closed due to not being an employee of the ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Combining 401k's from different past employers?

I have multiple 401k's from past employers. I know I can roll each of these over into new IRA accounts at my brokerage, but do the 401K rules allow me to combine these 401K's into one IRA account? ...
10
votes
1answer
516 views

Why would I not rollover my 401k into an IRA when permitted?

Currently in the US there are circumstances which allow you to rollover your existing 401K into an IRA, such as when you change employers. You may also keep it in the existing employer's plan or roll ...
9
votes
2answers
592 views

My former employer made a mistake calculating my 401(k) contribution/match; what is my responsibility?

I just got a letter from my former employer stating that they had made an error in their 401(k) deductions in 2013. Briefly, they erroneously included my cell phone allowance as eligible pay for the ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

TurboTax is telling me to open an IRA now, and get a $5K deduction this year, is this a smart thing to do?

I'm 21 years old, and 2009's total itemized deduction for me is $1,908. I'm going with the standard deduction, but next year seems like it has a lot of potential to save if I open up this IRA that ...
9
votes
1answer
257 views

Should I worry too much about saving my 20% down before buying my first house?

I am not too sure when exactly am I going to be buying the house. I can safely say that it would be between 2-5 years. However, I have no idea on exactly when. It all depends on market conditions and ...
9
votes
3answers
479 views

Employer limits total 401K contribution to below IRS max. How can we max out our pre-tax contributions?

It looks like my wife's employer is limiting her 401K contributions to 15% of her salary. This means we cannot max out the $17.5K contribution limit set by the IRS. Say her salary is $70K and we are ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Green Card holder (permanent resident): Should I contribute to my employer-matched 401(k), even if I might leave the U.S. later?

I am a Green Card holder (permanent residence card) and my company offers a matching 401(k). I plan to stay in the U.S. for a long time. However, I can't control the future. If there were a family ...
9
votes
2answers
110 views

Can I roll over 401(k) contributions that were made prematurely (by mistake)?

The company I work for told me yesterday that they need to refund my 2010 401K contributions because they recently discovered during an audit that they enrolled me into their plan prematurely since I ...