Smart Ways to Boost Your 401(k)Kiplinger

31 Янв 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
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Smart Ways to Boost 401(k)

These seven will help you build retirement nest egg.

Ah, for the days when employers enough about your old age to set and invest money on your assuring you of a secure—or at least

See Also: Retirement Savings

Actually, employers still about your old age, but now mostly use your money, the power of inertia, to get you where you to be. Companies are not only automatically employees in 401(k)s—the pretax that have mostly pensions—but they are also employees’ investments and boosting on an annual timetable. You can decline to but most people don’t, because they don’t get to it or because they like the

The approach seems to be working. the past five years, the of employees participating in a 401(k) or defined-contribution plan has held at 77%, according to the Transamerica for Retirement Studies, despite the market of 2007–09. And account have risen, from a of $74,781 in 2007 for the baby-boom to $99,320 in 2012.

If you’re most people, you still to save harder and longer to enough for a secure retirement—say, for an income that replaces 75% to 85% of final pay. And 401(k)s evolving (see IBM Sets a 401(k) Standard ). So, rather letting your employer all the decisions, get the retirement you want by these seven steps.


1. Beef up your Concerned that employees saving enough for their Congress has authorized employers to enroll workers in the company and peel off 3% of their pay (gradually to as much as 6%) for the plan. Now 56% of plan use auto enrollment, up from 44% in reports the Defined Contribution Investment Association.

Automatic helps get procrastinators off the dime, but it can send a message that a rate in the low single digits is to create a comfy nest Rather than be content a 3% to 6% salary deferral, you should be aside at least 10%, up to the max ($17,500 for 2013 and, if you are 50 or another $5,500 as a catch-up says John Killoy, of Retirement Solutions, which retirement plans. If you reach thirties and haven’t saved a you’ll have to look 15%. If you’re 50 and haven’t much at all, you’re to have to be much more than 15%.

In the real world, most contribute far less; the median is 7%, according to the Transamerica Center for Studies. If nothing else, at contribute enough to get the full match. It’s company says Killoy. You’ve it. By not meeting the match, you’re money on the table. Then try to up your contribution by another point a year.

2. Consider the Companies offer 19 choices, on in their 401(k)s, but the number can go as as 70 or even 100—a selection can be overwhelming to would-be participants, Killoy. Some companies are back on the fund offerings and brokerage windows so investors who more choices can trade the plan.

Whatever the menu, you’ll see actively managed domestic and stock funds and bond as well as at least one index and a money market fund. plans also offer a of target-date funds, which with mostly stocks and into bonds and cash as get closer to the target date.

The rule is to load up on stocks you’re young and have to weather a few market downturns, and to less-risky investments over the decades. If you’re in your and have a relatively high tolerance, you could be 90% in stocks, a 10% bond weighting, says Gil a certified financial planner in San Someone who is very close to should have a portfolio of 50% stocks and 50% bonds.

3. Go with a target-date fund. If you designate your own investments, the law firms pick one for you. The kinds of investments they can with immunity from (that is, you can’t sue if you lose with the company’s choice) a series of target-date funds, a that offers a static of stocks and fixed-income investments on your risk preference, and a account, in which investment tailor your portfolio for You’ll receive a notice of right to select your yourself. The default kicks in if you to do so.

Each option offers you a portfolio. But target-date funds become the investment of choice not for employers, as a default, but also for investors who like the convenience. a no-brainer type of investment, Armour. You can stick with it and through retirement—as long as you the mix.

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