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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money

Get a 50 to 100% return on investment. Guaranteed!


The stock market has been going gang-busters so far this year. But many people are still shell-shocked from the investment roller coaster of the last decade. Wouldn't it be a relief to have something guaranteed for a change?

Here's one of the few sure things around: if your employer matches your contributions to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, that's a guaranteed return. Maybe your employer matches 50 cents for every dollar you contribute to your retirement plan, up to some limit such as 3% of your salary. That's no-risk 50% return on those contributions. If the employer matches dollar-for-dollar, that's a 100% return.

That leads us to the first rule to getting the most out of an employer retirement plan: Contribute enough to get all the matching dollars available to you.

If you aren't contributing to your employer plan or you're not contributing enough to get all the matching dollars available, go right now to your employer's benefits website or call your HR department and get that taken care of. If you don't know what investment to choose, you don't have to make that decision. There will be a default option. By law,  that default investment must be "appropriate as a single investment capable of meeting a worker's long-term retirement savings needs" (Department of Labor).

 



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