If your company offers matching funds in their 401k program, make sure you invest enough to get all the available matching funds.
A very good return on investment is when someone offers to immediately double your money. This is what is happening if your company offers matching funds. Do not pass up this opportunity if your employer offers it. Check with your H.R. department to get the details about your 401k program.
The money you invest in your 401k program will not be counted toward your yearly taxable income. This will reduce the amount of income you need to pay taxes on. You will have to pay taxes on the money when you retire and withdraw the money, but it is allowed to be invested and to grow tax free.
Once you determine how much money you will invest every month toward your 401k, you will need to decide how to invest the money. Ask your H.R. department if they offer free investment services or seminars. Usually, you will get an enrollment form that will offer a wide range of investment options. Don't just pick one option. You want to spread your 401k investment money into a diverse range of investment funds.
At least once a year, you will want to look at your 401k statements to rebalance your portfolio. If you started with 10 funds each getting 10 percent of your 401k money, some might have performed better and will now contain a larger amount of your 401k money. Rebalancing will allow you to return to your original asset allocation goals.
401k accounts are meant to grow over long periods of time. One of the worst things you can do is to withdraw money from a 401k account early. You will have to pay early withdraw fees and also taxes on the money you withdraw.
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