It's Never Too Early To Prepare: 3 Things You Need To Know About Your 401K

19 September 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If you're just getting started in your career, retirement might be one of the last things on your mind. Unfortunately, that can lead to problems later on. Your retirement should be on your mind as soon as you enter the job market. In particular, you should be thinking about your 401k. If you haven't started a 401k, you need to do that as soon as possible. Social security and ordinary retirement plans aren't going to be enough to sustain an acceptable lifestyle once you retire. If you're not familiar with how 401k accounts work, here are three tips you'll need to know.

Go Beyond the Minimum

When you sign up for your 401k account, your employer will provide matching funds up to a certain percentage. This basically means that if you put money into your account, your employer may match the first 5% to 10% of your contribution. While those matching funds are a welcome addition to your 401k account, it's not necessarily going to be enough to provide for an adequate retirement. To ensure you have an adequate retirement account, go beyond the minimum deposit required for matching funds.

Keep Your Beneficiary Current

When you fill out the paperwork for your 401k, you'll be asked to provide information regarding your beneficiary. Failure to list a beneficiary will result in your retirement account being passed to the estate should you pass away. If you list your spouse as the beneficiary, and you should happen to divorce, be sure to update your information as soon as possible. Failure to change your beneficiary will result in your ex-spouse receiving your funds should you pass away. Unfortunately, that means that if you have children, they will not receive any of your retirement account after you pass. It's a good idea to update your account information after each major life event – marriage, childbirth, divorce, remarriage.

Be Careful with Loans

If you have a 401k, it is possible to take short-term loans out, using the funds that are available in your account. However, it's important to note that if the money is not returned to the 401k, you may be taxed for the amount that was removed from the account. If you're going to take a loan out on your 401k, be sure to speak to your financial advisor before proceeding.

Now that you've got a career, it's time to start thinking about your retirement. Talk to your financial advisor about retirement options that are best for you. The information provided here will help you avoid problems with your 401k. For more information, contact a 401k lead generating service.