I got an e-mail the other day suggesting I publish a guest article. It was somewhat related to what Ray Lucia was talking about (see my Decemeber 22, 2010 post). Here it is.
How to manage your 401 k account to stay out of debt
The 401 k investment is the most common financial instrument for the US consumers to save for retirement. It is a type of tax-deferred investment that is offered to employees by their employers. If you’re working with an organization where your employer provides you with a retirement account, you must utilize it by contributing a part of your monthly income to it. If you’re not doing it, you’re perhaps making the biggest financial blunder. In future, if you incur credit cad debts, you can easily seek the help of your 401 k account instead of getting help from debt consolidation non profit companies. An employer may match an amount with your contribution to some extent. The entire investment to the 401 k account is tax deferred. Therefore, it is very important for you to take advantage of this tax deferred retirement benefits in order to stay out of debt. Have a look at the ways in which you can manage your 401k accounts.
- Sign up for 401 k account: As you join a company where you’ll get a retirement savings benefit, you must first sign up with that company. If you don’t sign up with your company’s benefits, you’ll perhaps lose the free money that you are supposed to get from the company as a matching aid.
- Contribute money to the fund: Once you sign up with the company’s retirement benefit plan, make sure that you contribute as much as you can so that your employer can easily match some more money. Up to 15% of your gross monthly salary can be contributed to this account and can be taken advantage of due to the tax benefits.
- Know how to access your account: Only creating an account will not do, you also need to access it. The money that you invest in the 401 k account will not be registered by your employer. An independent financial institution will supervise this account. Therefore, you need to know how you can access the details of that account, whether personally or online.
- Build your investment portfolio: Usually the investor of the 401 k account will offer you various mutual funds for investing your money. Make a comprehensive research of these funds and make sure you cleverly pick the funds that have a higher amount of return than the others. Also check the track records of the funds that you’re investing in. Try to keep both equity funds and bonds in your portfolio. As the investment in the 401 k is not subject to tax, this is a good place to invest in the high-yield bonds.
- Keep monitoring your investment account: If you have invested earlier, you must be aware that asset allocation is equally important to manage and build your portfolio. With time, readjust your portfolio in order to get better results.