Questions tagged [401k]

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 a portion of it. The before-tax and/or after-tax contributions are subject to yearly limits set by the IRS. Related to the 403b and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

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51
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
18
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3answers
3k 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 ...
34
votes
4answers
3k 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?
4
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2answers
921 views

found a 1994 uncashed profit sharing retirement plan check

I found an old un-cashed check dated 1994 for $487 from my Xerox Retirement plan with no expiration date. Can I still cash it?
50
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2answers
8k 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. ...
9
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2answers
5k views

Comparing IRA vs 401K's rate-of-return with dollar cost averaging

I have both an IRA in Vanguard and an old employer's 401k with Fidelity management. I would like to compare the performance between the two accounts over time, in order to determine if I should ...
20
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4answers
3k 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 ...
7
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6answers
531 views

What factors should I take into account when deciding how much of my 401(k) contribution should go into my Roth 401(k)?

My employer allows new contributions to my 401(k) to go in as Roth (post-tax) or "regular" (pre-tax). What should I consider when deciding how to distribute my contributions between the two?
23
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7answers
2k views

401(k) Contribution When Employer Has No Match?

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 for investing ...
17
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4answers
3k 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 ...
4
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4answers
2k views

Post Tax 401k or Taxable Brokerage Account?

I max out my pre-tax 401k, HSA, and do a roth IRA or backdoor Roth IRA. With my additional savings is there any reason i would want to do a post-tax 401k instead of keeping it in a regular taxable ...
22
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4answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
11k views

401k withdrawal abroad and state taxation?

From what I know about 401k's, when it's time to retire, we take our 401k money and pay federal and state tax. Some states don't have taxes on 401k's — Florida is a good example. So many people move ...
19
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4answers
23k views

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

My wife has a 401(k) 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 ...
8
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2answers
479 views

401(k) failed the highly compensated employee test, will I owe penalties on my excess contributions?

Normally the max you can contribute to a 401(k) is $18,000, which I did. But I guess there's some sort of top-heavy test or highly compensated employee test or some such that my company failed so now ...
7
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4answers
609 views

Is there legal reason for restricting someone under 59-1/2 from an in-service rollover from a 401K to an IRA?

There is a lot of confusing information on the internet regarding this. Additionally, there have been changes made by the IRS later than many articles that someone may find by a web search. I have ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Why is the total 401(k) contribution limit (employee + employer) so high?

The 2014 employee contribution limit is $17,500. The 2014 total contribution limit is $52,000. (Provided they're not capped earlier based on low income.) Meaning the IRS has left room for a ~$35,...
6
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1answer
769 views

Can I deduct a contribution to an IRA if I also contribute to a 401(k) in the same tax year?

Can I deduct a contribution to a traditional IRA if I am also contributing to a 401(k) in the same tax year?
5
votes
2answers
278 views

What expenses do 401k funds charge?

What expenses do 401k funds charge? For example, do they charge front-end or back-end loads (commission when buying or selling funds)? Also how do I find out if the 401k administrator charges a fee?
1
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3answers
281 views

401(k) which is better, more traditional or less ROTH

My company matches my 401(k) contributions, 4% to my 5%, so I'm contributing at least 5%. So I ran some numbers. If I switch from traditional contributions of 5% to ROTH contributions of 5%, my take-...
28
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6answers
6k 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 ...
14
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7answers
48k views

Why I cannot find a “Pure Cash” option in 401k investments?

I am of an opinion that I should decide where my money should get invested and if it should get invested at all or not. When I looked at the investment options I have with my 401k money, I figured ...
26
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6answers
7k views

Does borrowing from my 401(k) make sense in my specific circumstance?

I know the standard answer and understand that I will be losing out on that compound interest, but I am young and only need to borrow a few thousand. here are some more details: Need to borrow $6500 ...
16
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4answers
3k views

Could excess 401(k) contributions be used to game/maximize matches from different employers?

Suppose I max out my 401(k) really early. This avoids the risk that if I lose the job I would have lost the chance to contribute to it fully. However there is another risk. My company doesn't match. ...
30
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6answers
4k views

Is it ever logical to not deposit to a matched 401(k) account?

In a recent question Should I dump my savings into my student debt?, there was push back from a member regarding the strong advice to save to the match. Is there ever a time to not deposit to the ...
9
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2answers
1k views

When should I switch from after-tax to pre-tax retirement savings?

I am contributing to my employer's Roth 401(k). The consensus in this question is that when you're young you should make your retirement contributions after-tax so that they grow tax free, and that ...
9
votes
2answers
24k views

Tax implications for a 100% 401k contribution limit

My company permits a contribution of a 100% of the paycheck towards the 401k. My question is, if I were to pick a 100% contribution amount, would I be liable for any taxes in the number of paychecks ...
1
vote
1answer
831 views

Minimum Required Nest Egg Formula?

As a follow-up to this question, what is the minimum size of a nest egg to support 30 years of $5,583.33 monthly distributions? I want the $5,583.33 to increase with inflation each month. The ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Can I contribute to a 401k for employer matching and then immediately withdraw it?

I have some friends who work at a company which offers 50% 401k matching up to some amount, but they don't take advantage of it because they want to use the money for non-retirement purposes. Ignoring ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Are 401(k) contribution limits for employee & employer separate? What about hitting the limit?

I am 29 years old and have a 401(k) already with my company. I just started contributing 10% to my 401(k), up from my 8%. My company does not match but they do put 10% of my salary into my 401(k) as ...
5
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2answers
538 views

What is an appropriate level of 401k fees or expenses in a typical plan?

I am aware that there are fees involved in a company 401(k) plan. These can vary widely depending on where you work and the particulars of a plan. What would be an appropriate amount of fees and ...
4
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2answers
534 views

What are the pros and cons of converting an after-tax 401(k) to a Roth 401(k)?

What are the pros and cons of converting an after-tax (a.k.a. post-tax) 401(k) to a Roth 401(k)? From what I can see: pro: in the Roth 401(k), earnings made on the contributions are tax-free, unlike ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Can one roll over an after-tax 401(k) to a Roth IRA, then any time in the future withdraw my contributions tax-free and penalty-free?

Can one roll over an after-tax 401(k) to a Roth IRA, then any time in the future withdraw one's contributions (that were initially made to the after-tax 401(k)) tax-free and penalty-free? Background ...
2
votes
2answers
812 views

Why would an employer not allow their employees to perform a “mega Roth IRA backdoor” (i.e., convert from an after-tax 401(k) to a Roth IRA)?

My employer offers a 401(k) plan through Vanguard to its employees. There exist two types of Roth IRA Rollover: Convert from a non-deductible traditional IRA to a Roth IRA (a.k.a., "Roth IRA ...
17
votes
6answers
14k 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 ...
15
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5answers
4k views

Why 401k contribution as % of salary vs. fixed amount per pay check?

I am wondering why some companies do not let their employee choose a fix amount per pay check as a 401K contribution. In my all jobs it has been always a % of my salary, so I will chose a percentage ...
11
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1answer
767 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
1answer
3k views

Options for a Simple IRA when leaving a job: Leave as is or roll it over?

I currently have a Roth IRA that I max out every year. My current company had Simple IRA and contributed 2% of my salary and I contributed 6000 a year. Now I am leaving the company and was hired by ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How are 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) tax-advantaged retirement plans different? How are they alike?

How are 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) tax-deferred retirement plans different? How are they alike?
8
votes
1answer
10k views

My bonus is taxed at a higher rate than my regular paychecks, so should I contribute 100% of my bonus to 401k?

Is there a tax advantage to putting 100% of my bonus into 401k? From looking at my pay stubs, my bonus gets taxed at a higher rate than my regular paychecks. And since traditional 401k contributions ...
7
votes
4answers
782 views

Advice on where to put money once I've hit the income limits on Roth IRA?

For the past few years I have been contributing to my company-sponsored 401k just enough to get all of their match, and contributing up-to-the-limit in a Roth IRA. I've now reached the income limits ...
7
votes
3answers
33k views

How to deal with my job change & 401k loan that I can't fully pay back?

It's been 60 days since I changed my job and I have an outstanding 401(k) loan of $30K(+30k non loan amount). I have only $20K to pay and my 401k plan won't accept the partial amount. I still didn't ...
6
votes
2answers
941 views

401(k) plan/investment fees: Are they the expense ratios, or something else as well?

I have a naive question. 401(k) fees are a popular topic lately. I am very interested in this as I max out my 401(k) contribution every year, well past the employer match. I am not sure if the 401(k) ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do employers require you to spread your 401(k) contributions throughout the year to get the maximum match?

I think the title says it all. I can't see any reason employers have to incentivize employees to contribute to their 401(k) evenly throughout the year. Instead couldn't they use a relatively simple ...
5
votes
1answer
475 views

Are 401k and IRAs protected the same way during bankruptcy?

I've heard that IRAs offer a better protection during bankruptcy but i can't find any information about it.
5
votes
3answers
542 views

the annual limit for my 401k is $500 - what can i do?

Last year I was forced to take a withdrawal from my 401K because my company failed the highly compensated employee test. I had put in $18,000 into the 401K and got ~$10,000 back. After that incident ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

CARES Act 401k withdrawal requirements - Is this a hardship?

From my understanding, financial hardships related to COVID-19 can qualify an individual to withdraw money from their 401k, with literally no penalty so long as it is repayed to a similar retirement ...
4
votes
3answers
326 views

Saving for retirement without employer sponsored plan

I'm considering moving to a new job that doesn't have any sponsored retirement plans. I'd like to continue saving on my own though, but it seems that IRAs have a $5,000 contribution limits. What are ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

On company 401k matching. Clarification needed

I realized I don't fully understand something. It almost embarrassing to admit. In 2016 we have 18k max contribution limit for 401k. Does this mean that employee can contribute at most 18k or that ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I contribute to both a solo 401k and a regular 401k in the same year?

I was self employed during the first quarter of 2011, then switched to full time employment. I have a solo 401k that I haven't contributed to in tax year 2011. I have been contributing to my ...