Created: March 12, 2022
Modified: August 17, 2022

401(k) Strategies

On this episode of Better Money on WFSB, Joel Johnson, CFP® and Kara Sundlun discuss 401(K)s, which are often people’s biggest retirement asset. Some important factors to consider are:

  • Risk level
  • Company match requirements
  • Fund selection
  • Rollovers

When considering your risk level, you’ll want to ask yourself, “How would I feel if I lost 10% or 20% of the money?” and think of it in dollar amounts. If you are not okay losing that amount of money, lower your risk to a more appropriate level.

Many employers offer a match in addition to contributions by employees. For example, contribute 6% to receive a 3.5% match. It is highly recommended to save at least the minimum for the match, or you end up throwing away free money. Like Joel said, “It’s like walking over $100 dollar bills on the sidewalk and not picking them up.”

Making a fund selection is much more challenging than it was, say, 20 years ago when there were only 4 options to choose from. Nowadays, there are over 70 different funds. A lot of people will spread their money out between too many; choosing just 4 or 5 funds will do the job.

When you’re over the age of 59 1/2, consider looking at rollover options. Look at this with a financial advisor; some people shouldn’t move this money out, but others will see more flexibility with a rollover.

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