Get the Most Out of Your 401(k) Retirement Plan

Part of the 401(k)s For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If your employer offers a 401(k) retirement plan and makes contributions to it on your behalf, you have a leg up in retirement investing. The suggestions in the following list can help you get the most from your 401(k) plan:

  • Contribute enough to get the full employer matching contribution.

  • Use education tools and retirement planning aids from your employer or plan provider to help develop and track your retirement plan.

  • Plan jointly with your spouse to get the maximum advantage from both your retirement plans.

  • Take any company stock your employer gives you, but don't invest your own money in it. Remember Enron.

  • Roll your retirement money directly into a new tax-deferred account when you change jobs. Don't cash it out.

  • Don't take a hardship withdrawal or loan unless absolutely necessary.

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401(k)s For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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