What you should know about your 401k to effectively manage and maximize your savings

401k Basics: From Contributions, to Loans and Distributions

The TDS Library



For most people, a 401k will be a vital part of their retirement yet many do not take the time to understand how a 401k works, how to manage it effectively, or their options for taking distributions from the 401k once they retire. From contributions, to loans and distributions, here is what you should know about your 401k to effectively manage and maximize your 401k retirement savings from your first contribution all the way to your last distibution.

401k

401k Contributions and Management

How to Set Up Your First 401k

So you're using your company's 401k plan. It is a great way to save, especially if you take some time to learn exactly how a 401k works. Here is what you need to know to maximize your 401k savings for retirement. Read more...

401k Basics

A 401k plan is an income tax reducing retirement plan that can include contributions from both the employer and the employee. The employee reduced his taxable income by the amount contributed to the plan. Each year the IRS sets limits as to how much an employee can contribute and deduct. Read more...

Roth vs Traditional 401k

They sound like the same thing, but there are some very important differences between a Roth 401k and a traditional 401k. Those differences can mean that one is much more appropriate for you. How and when you're taxed are the key elements. You need to understand the similarities and differences to get the most out of the investment in your retirement. Read more...

401k Contribution Basics

There are rules as to who can contribute to a 401k and how much they contribute. The rules aren't complicated, but you need to know them if you're going to get the most from your 401k retirement plan. Read more...

Choosing Beneficiaries for a 401k Plan

Choosing beneficiaries for your 401k plan could be one of the most important decisions you make. It can make a big difference in how your 401k is distributed if you die and it is not as easy as HR department might say. Read more...

What If Your Employer Doesn't Contribute?

Should you still contribute to a 401k plan if your employer doesn't contribute? Some financial planner argue that you're better off paying income taxes before the money earns more money. Especially if your employer doesn't contribute. But, is that true in all cases? Read more...

Should I Contribute to a 401k When the Market Is Bad?

When the stock market is dropping it's hard to justify adding to your 401k plan. Should you continue to contribute (or even close) your 401k plan when the market is bad? The historical statistics can help you answer that question. Read more...

Contribute to a 401k or Pay Off Debt?

When you don't have enough income for everything you have to make some choices. Especially if you're paying interest on debts. Is it wise to stop contributing to a 401k in order to pay off debts? There's a way to tell and the math isn't that complicated. Read more...

401k Loans

401k Loans

Most plans allow you to borrow money from your 401k and pay the money back over time. It seems like a good place to borrow - from yourself. But before you take a 401k loan you need to know all the rules and regulations to avoid creating a problem later. Read more...

401k Loan Trap

401k loans are popular. But there are some rules that could come back to bite you under certain circumstances. Before you take out a 401k loan you need to know about the 401k layoff trap. Read more...

How a 401k Loan Affects Future Wealth

You borrow from your 401k and you pay back the loan. No big deal. Seems like a win/win. But experts say that can affect how much you have available when you retire. Read more...

Using Your 401k to Pay Off Debts

High interest credit card debt can make it almost impossible to pay your monthly bills. Is it wise to withdraw money from your 401k to pay off high interest credit card debts? And, if you do, could the withdrawal qualify as a 'hardship'? Read more...

Using a 401k Loan to Buy a Car

Many people finance an auto purchase. You can borrow from the dealer, your bank or from your 401k plan. Borrowing from your 401k is like borrowing the money you've already saved. Is there any reason you shouldn't use a 401k loan to buy a car? Read more...

401k Loan vs. a Second Mortgage

Does it make sense to pay off a 401k loan with a second mortgage? The mortgage interest is deductible. Is that reason enough to make the switch? Here's how to make an intelligent decision. Read more...

Using a 401k Loan to Repay a Personal Loan

Which is better? Borrowing from someone else or from your retirement plan? No one answer is right for everyone. But there are ways to decide which is best for you. Read more...

Using a 401k Loan to Pay for Remodeling

Financing a home remodeling project through a 401k loan could be your best choice. But, not always. There are certain things to consider before you make up your mind. Read more...

401k Distributions

401k Retirement Distributions

You've been adding to your 401k account for years. Now that you're nearing retirement it's time to find out how your 401k will be distributed when you do retire. If you don't follow the distribution rules you could face IRS penalties and extra taxes! Read more...

What to Do With Your 401k When You Leave Your Job

Whether you've taken another job, been laid-off or fired, you're leaving your old employer. You'll have many decisions to make. Among them is what to do with your 401k plan. Can you leave it with the current administrator? Or do you have to take it with you? We'll explain the rules. Read more...

Can I Lose My 401k If My Employer Goes Under?

Friends say you could lose your 401k if your employer goes bankrupt. That the company lenders can take your account. Understanding how your 401k works and who owns the account can put your mind at ease. Let's see what the law says. Read more...


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