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How can i do my 401k right now??

Apr 17, 2012 by dizhwar from Arlington, TX in  |  Flag
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Dear Dizhwar,

I'm glad to see you are motivated in starting your retirement savings. The earlier you start, generally the better you do.

I assume you work for a company that privides a 401(k) plan. If so, then contact your HR department. They will help you get started. They should have all the paperwork and information you need.

If you need help choosing the investments, the HR department can help you contact the investment company. You may be able to get help from someone over the telephone or there may be a part of the website that will help you determine which investments will suit your need.

Good luck!

Comment   |  Flag   |  Apr 17, 2012 from Permanente, CA

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Hi Dizhwar, I suggest establishing some very important benchmarks and goals: - How much can I contribute? - How much can I contribute? - How much do I need to accumulate in my 401(k) for a successful result(ie. $500,000 to produce $20,000/yr in supplemental retirement income) - How much longer can I work or how long to I want to work? - What is my companies "matching contribution"(if any)? - Do I need to pay off debt first before starting or increasing my 401(k) contribution? - Do I have 6-9 months of liquidity set up for an Emergency Fund? - What are the investment options in my plan? - Does my company offer "compnay stock" as an option and does it have restrictions?

In general, you want to always contribute enough to receive the full company match(ie. 6% contribution is matched by 3% from your company), but you do not want to over-extend yourself to do so. Payoff "high interest, non-deductible debt" before you do anything else. 25% consumer credit is an absolute killer to your finances above and beyond any benefit you could get from contributing those funds to a 401(k). This does not apply to Home Equity Lines of Credit or Mortgages. Also, build up an Emergency Fund before you go overboard. Be careful of being tempted to invest too much into your Company Stock, if offered. Generally, more than 25% is too concentrated.

Seek help from the resources your company provides, but also do not be afraid to seek help from an advisor. Having and UNDERSTANDING a dedicated investment plan is critical and you will "get what you pay for".

I hope this helps.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Apr 18, 2012 from Columbus, GA

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