Post image for 5 Tips on How to Manage Your Own 401K and Save on Financial Advisor Fees

5 Tips on How to Manage Your Own 401K and Save on Financial Advisor Fees

by Fern LaRocca CFP®

in 401K,401k Contribution Limits,401k Contribution Limits,401k limits,401K Maximum,Roth 401K,Roth IRA Rules

Don’t know if you should contribute to your 401K or not? You are not alone. Many people find the information overwhelming. Stop wondering if you can do better somewhere else. The 401K account is there to help you grow money that will supplement your social security. Take full advantage of it by following these five tips to make your 401K contributions grow fast:

1. Know your 401K limits. The first thing you need to know is when you “vest” or when you can start to have money taken out of your check. Your Human Resource or Benefits department can usually answer that for you.

2. Your 401K contributions will be limited to a percentage of your salary or maximum fixed amount. Use that information to decide how much you want to contribute. Jump in and put in the maximum. You can always change it later.

3. Know the 401K Rules. What does your plan document allow you to do in the account? Do you have hardship provisions or loan features? Even though this money is for the long term, you should understand any 401K early withdrawal features your plan may offer.

4. Your 401K account will have investment options that you need to become familiar with. When you take out all of the ones that are actively managed with high fees, you will be left with some great low cost index funds to choose from. Diversify into asset categories and asset classes.

5. 401K early withdrawal penalties are severe so don’t do it. Have money for emergencies set aside so you don’t have to withdraw your 401K money.

The 401K plan is a retirement plan account. It is designed for long term savings. Everyone knows how difficult it is to live on Social Security income alone. The 401K account can provide an addition income for you. It has tax savings and tax deferral features that make any outside investment hard to compete with. Take advantage of this opportunity and contribute to your 401K plan.

2009© Fern Alix-LaRocca CFP® All Rights Reserved

Get more tips on how to plan your 401K contributions by grabbing the 401K First Aid Kit:Stop Your Portfolio Bleeding and Get Back to Financial Health E-book at (coming soon -so sign up now)

You will also receive the free Whole-Hearted-Way e-newsletter written by Fern Alix LaRocca, a Certified Financial PlannerTM and Wealth Coach with over 24 years experience as a fee-only Financial Advisor.