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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49
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
17
votes
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 ...
32
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?
6
votes
1answer
760 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?
51
votes
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
votes
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
519 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?
4
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2answers
841 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?
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 ...
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 ...
4
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
22k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
275 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?
27
votes
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 ...
26
votes
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
votes
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. ...
9
votes
2answers
915 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
20k 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
590 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 ...
8
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2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
515 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
785 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
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
2answers
419 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
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
697 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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
2answers
936 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) ...
4
votes
3answers
325 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

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
222 views

Effective Tax Rate in Retirement

Suppose that I'd like to net $5k of monthly income ($60k per year after taxes) from my 401k when I retire in 20 years. For 2017, I would need $69.5k gross distributions from my 401k because my ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

Is a year-end true-up employer match supposed to be received the next year?

I was browsing a 401(k) account, which has a year-end true-up employer match and is managed by Vanguard. The employee who owns the 401(k) account joined the firm in 2017, and frontloaded their 401(k) ...
24
votes
7answers
7k views

Should I stop contributing to retirement accounts, and instead focus on expanding our real estate investments?

My wife and I are in our later 30s and make about $100,000 per year from salary. We also net about $40,000 from rental properties that we have purchased over the past several years. Our essential ...
57
votes
11answers
7k 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 ...
25
votes
10answers
15k views

How can I protect my 401(k) when the stock market is performing badly?

I just opened my 401(k) at the beginning of 2017. In 2017 it did great because of the bull market, but since 2018 I've lost about $1,000. All of my contributions this year have been a complete waste. ...
18
votes
3answers
763 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
20k views

What is the difference between a Rollover IRA and a Roth IRA?

Previous Question. I have decided to roll my 401(k) into a Roth IRA. I use ThinkOrSwim as my broker currently, so I plan on opening an IRA with them. When opening the account I'm presented with the ...
9
votes
3answers
525 views

How to find a good third-party, 401k management/advice service?

I have a 401k with my employer that offers a pretty good contribution matching benefit. I am young and I've had the plan for about 5 years and my money is starting to grow into a pool that is big ...
8
votes
4answers
967 views

How to get started with savings, paying off debt, and retirement?

I am getting married soon and I am in grad school (I get paid a stipend and have a tuition scholarship). I have no retirement plans available to me. My fiancee will be starting her job soon and will ...
22
votes
3answers
814 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 ...
15
votes
11answers
7k views

I am failing to see the purpose of a Traditional IRA for someone who already has access to a 401(k)

If I understand correctly, the Traditional IRA, if you have 401k with an employer already, has the following features per IRS: Your contributions are taxed Your contributions are NOT taxed upon ...