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Using a 401k to Plan for Your Future

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Using a 401k to Plan for Your Future 2017-01-16T19:22:28-05:00

Saving money for retirement can often be intimidating, and many Americans fall short of their retirement goals. Often, this is because the process can be a bit intimidating. There are many ways people can save up money for their retirement, from stocks and bonds investments, to CDs and mutual funds. A 401k is an excellent way to help you meet your future financial and retirement goals. Many employers offer 401k plans that can help you to save money towards retirement and other financial needs later in life, and many offer what is called a match. This means that whatever percentage you choose to save each week or month, the company will also contribute a matching amount, which can range anywhere from zero percent all the way up to one hundred percent matching funds. It serves as a viable nest egg for yourself and your family, and over time, it can grow into a larger amount of money that will serve to be extremely helpful. Whether you’re a novice or experienced investor, it is important to understand how a 401k works, and to keep up with the many different changes that can occur each year in regards to taxes and other regulations for your portfolio.

Pros and Cons of a 401k

Perhaps the best thing about having a 401K is that it is easy to save up money, and to maintain the portfolio you create as time goes by. A large number of employers offer plans that allow you to deduct a set amount from your paycheck and deposit the money directly into your plan each week or month. For companies that offer matching contributions, you are essentially doubling the money you are saving automatically. For many companies that offer 401k plans, you can also roll it over, which means the funds from your plan can be transferred to the new account if you change jobs without losing any cash you’ve already saved. Another pro of having a 401k plan is that the money you opt to deduct from your paycheck is not taxable, so the amount is taken out of your total pay before taxes are calculated. Many 401k plans are flexible, which means you can diversify the money you choose to save and designate some towards stocks, some towards foreign funds, and some towards other investment options in order to have a plan that can work for your personal needs. While a 401k is a positive thing in most cases, the main downside is if you decide to withdraw your funds early, they will be subject to various penalties and taxes. If you borrow from your 401k, you will be expected to repay it much like a traditional loan with whatever the current rates may be.

Making a 401k Work for You

Most people opt to invest in a 401k because of its simplicity and flexibility, and there are many benefits to using it to your advantage and to make it work for you. When the plan matures, you can choose to receive the final amount as a lump sum payment, or you can opt to receive it in several payments broken up if the plan allows. This money can be used for anything you desire. Often, people use some of the money they’ve saved for a dream vacation, to pay for their children’s college tuition, or to pay off bills like a mortgage. Some people simply keep the money in their bank accounts and use it towards every day living expenses like groceries and utility bills. Others may choose to upgrade, add onto, or remodel their homes. The best part of cashing in your 401k when it matures is that the money is yours to use at your discretion. These plans are a convenient, easy way to help people save money towards retirement. Without a 401k plan, many retirees would not have any money put aside for their golden years. Having a 401k makes saving your hard-earned cash easy, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your funds will grow over the years. You can also talk to a financial advisor, who can give you good advice on how to invest in your portfolio, how to avoid penalties, and what to do with your money once you’re ready to cash in.

 

Author: Ben Michaels


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