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Retirement - Things To Know About 401(k)

Aug 19, 2008
When it comes to financial retirement plans, the sad truth is that far too few people actually have a plan. It is estimated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% of employees who are offered a 401(k) through their employers fail to sign up for them.

There have been instances in the past when unscrupulous administrators have taken advantage of the temptation that having access to those funds provided as well as many, many cases where the worst enemy when it came to 401(k) investing was the investor.

The good news is that like many things around the world we are learning from our mistakes and working to create a new and improved 401(k) for employees across the country. With this in mind and the advances that have been made very few people can honestly state that they are worried about the security of their money as a reason not to participate in their company offered 401(k) programs. The problem remains that far too many people believe in the sanctity of a now dieing system for retirement funds.

The truth of the matter is that no matter what, chances are very slim that social security will provide any sort of security for those that are retiring and relying on this as their 'golden' years. There have been mistakes along the way and will continue to be. Not only do the administrators of these plans make the mistakes but also by those receiving the benefit of these plans, which can be so very important when, it comes to establishing some degree of security for your financial retirement planning.

Along the way we've learned that the penalties for borrowing against your funds can be much more harsh than a mere slap on the wrist. We've also learned the cashing out is very rarely a wise decision in the grand scheme of things when it comes to your 401(k) plan. These lessons are hard learned in many cases and cost years if not decades of your retirement plan. Do not make these mistakes unless the stakes truly merit the costs involved.

Don't be afraid to actually make the investments you feel are necessary in order to maximize the potential of your 401(k). This is your retirement after all and the new rules regarding your 401(k) are putting you in the driver's seat so to speak. Don't let yourself and your investment down by not doing the necessary research. If you plan to invest in stocks make sure that you are diversifying your stock holdings and that you have thoroughly researched the stocks in which you are investing.

You should also take the time to research the differences in a traditional 401(k) and a Roth 401(k) and see which one you feel will best suit your needs as a consumer and as an investor. There are marked advantages and disadvantages associated with each and ultimately which is better comes down to a matter of preference as there really is no absolute right or wrong answer to this question.

I strongly encourage you to seek the services of a competent financial planner in order to help you properly diversify your portfolio for long-term investing with maximum potential. I believe you will be amazed at the miracles that the right financial mind can work when it comes to your funds.
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