Part of planning for financial freedom is making sure that you are financially protected when you hit retirement. However, only a few know how to maximize their 401(k) in a retirement investment account as part of their overall portfolio.
If you want to explore the basics of investing your 401(k) to increase your retirement benefits, no worries. This article provides you with a summary of the five (5) most useful tips on how your 401(k) can help you retire with more financial security.
What are 401(k) Investments?
Before going into the details, you should know that a 401(k) investment is basically a retirement savings tool sponsored by your employer. This tool allows you to invest a portion of your paycheck into a retirement investment account. Your money will grow tax-free until you are retired, and that’s when you can use it.
The question that many ask is about the portion: how much of one’s paycheck should go into this retirement investment? In addition to that, here are some tips about putting a part of your paycheck to your 401(k) investments.
It is true that you can begin your retirement investment later when you are older. However, the earlier you start investing, the better. In fact, it is best to start contributing to your 401(k) as soon as possible. In doing this, you earn more. That’s just how compound interest works: you gain more interest when you start earlier. If you are a young worker, you have the advantage of the time that older folks will never ever have. Invest early.
See How Much You Can Set Aside
As a rule of thumb, you need to invest a percentage of your earnings that is equivalent to the difference between 100 and your age. For instance, if you are 20 years old, you need to invest 80% of your earnings as savings or into your retirement fund. This is based on the assumption that, at an early age, you still don’t have many responsibilities and can afford to invest more money.
If that amount or percentage is too high, you can decide on a fixed annual amount. For example, you can contribute a max of $19,500 to your 401(k) in 2020 if you are under 50. All you have to do is calculate a fixed amount below the threshold of $19,500.
Hire a Portfolio Manager
Still unsure or want to maximize your investments? You can explore other options such as using a robo-advisor such as Wealthfront or Betterment. This is one of the best options for someone who is unsure or does not know how much they should invest.
The robo-advisor will run the numbers for you to determine the best combination of investments in your 401(k) fund. You can set the target amount you need for retirement and the algorithms will compute how much you need to set aside every month or year so that you can have that amount when you retire.
Match Your Employer
Another way to determine how much you should contribute in your 401(k) is to look at how much your employer is contributing. For instance, if your employer only offers a maximum of 10% of your salary, then you should match your employer and contribute at least 10% as well to get the most out of your 401(k) investments.
Check Investment Types
When you contribute funds to your 401(k), you have to choose which investments it goes to. With each kind of investment, there is a specific percentage of return based on the risk profile. Since the percentage of return is different for each investment, your choice will affect how much you need to contribute in the 401(k) so that you can reach your target retirement funds.
If you have enough in your 401(k), before you start computing, consider the types of investments that you will choose. For instance, if you choose to invest in the stock market, you will earn more and faster but the risk is higher. If you want to do this, you might want to invest a lower amount.
On the other hand, you will have more stable returns if you invest in mutual funds. However, interest will be less so you want to contribute a higher amount to achieve the retirement fund levels that you want.
For dignity and independence, you want to retire with enough funds so that you won’t need to depend on help from your children or other people. With the investment tips summarized in this article, you can think about your best options to save and invest money in your 401(k) for your retirement. The five (5) points summarized in this article should help you begin to find the answers to all your basic questions and concerns.
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