The Basics

Get answers and insights on how to grow your savings, investing topics and how things work.

Retirement Savings

Auto-escalation. A great idea.

What is auto-escalation and SMarT? In a nutshell, a painless way to increase your savings.

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Rolling over. What exactly does that mean?

What exactly is a rollover? A rollover is a transfer of one 401(k) to another retirement account.

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Figure out stocks vs bonds.

Figuring out stocks vs bonds can be difficult. See how much your savings might grow in average, good and bad times.

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Mutual Funds. What you need to know.

What do I need to know about selecting a mutual fund? There are over seven thousand mutual funds to select from, here is what you need to know before choosing one.

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Where should I be investing my money?

Many people are unsure where to put their savings. This simple quiz will help guide your decisions.

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How is my money invested?

Choose your 401(k) investments carefully. As recent economic downturns have shown, your 401(k) can lose money just like any investment.

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How to open an IRA

Banks, brokerages, and mutual fund companies offer IRA’s. Choose the one with the products and services you want for the lowest fees.

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Staying on track. Review your statement.

Read your 401(k) statements. It’s the key tool in keeping your investments on track.

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Trust. Where does your plan provider rank?

How does my retirement plan provider rank on the trust scale? Being able to trust the company that is managing your plan is an integral part of saving.

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Am I automatically enrolled in auto-enrollment? What does that mean?

Automatic features are making it easier than ever to have a 401(k). But beware: you may not be saving enough. Don’t get stuck on 401(k) auto-pilot. Take an active role in managing your account.

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Are fees normal? What about high fees?

Be aware of the fees you pay on the funds in your retirement savings. High fees on your retirement accounts will eat away at your savings.

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Save early and often

The earlier you start saving, the bigger your 401(k) can grow. Start small and let the power of compounding work for you.

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How much can I contribute to my 401k plan?

How much can I contribute to my 401k plan? In general you should contribute as much as you possibly can to your 401(k).

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Employer Match. The best thing ever.

If it is offered to you, always take advantage of an employer 401(k) match. You are entitled to this extra form of compensation.

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How to open an IRA

Banks, brokerages, and mutual fund companies offer IRA’s. Choose the one with the products and services you want for the lowest fees.

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I need a retirement savings plan. My employer doesn’t offer one.

My employer doesn’t offer a retirement savings plan. You can still have your own tax-deferred savings account for retirement.

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How to sign up. Two very important questions you need to answer.

Sign up for your company’s 401(k) plan as soon as you can. It is easier than you think.

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Why 401K plans are so great

Participating in your company 401(k) plan lowers your tax bill and makes monthly saving automatic. Meanwhile, your money grows tax-free. That’s a good thing.

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What is a 401k plan?

Here are the basics of what you need to know.

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I need to rollover my old account. What are my options?

You are “rolling over” your money without taking any out, so that you can continue to enjoy the benefits of tax-deferred retirement savings. When you leave a job, there are two main types of 401(k) rollovers.

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What happens if I die?

Always name a beneficiary when you sign up for a 401(k) plan, and keep it up to date. Otherwise your money could go to someone you didn’t intend.

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What happens if I get divorced?

In a divorce, your former spouse and any dependents may be entitled to part of your 401(k) money. Generally a 401(k) account in a marriage is considered marital property.

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What happens to my 401(k) if declare bankuptcy

In most cases, your 401(k) money remains protected if you declare bankruptcy.

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My company is going out of business. What happens to my retirement savings account?

What happens to my 401(k) account my company is going out of business? Don’t worry, your account is protected if your company goes bankrupt or is bought by another company.

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Quitting your job? Timing could make a big difference.

You have several options for taking your 401(k) with you, but be aware of the tax consequences. Time your departure to your advantage, if you can. When you leave your company, you’ll need to do some paperwork – and that includes making a decision about what to do with your 401(k) account. Here are your options:

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My employer stopped matching, what’s next?

During times of financial crisis, companies tighten their belts, and one of the first perks to go is often the 401(k) matching contribution. Yes, they can do this.

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Lost my job. What do I do with my retirement account?

Resist the temptation to cash out your retirement savings when you are fired or laid off from a job. Instead, roll it over into an IRA or a new employer’s retirement savings plan, so your money can continue to grow tax-free.

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I still have a 401k from my last job. What do I do about that?

As you move ahead from job to job, don’t make the mistake of leaving a trail of old savings accounts behind you. Put your hard-earned savings to work for you by looking at all the options. If you’ve left a job and a 401k, here are the options available to you for those funds.

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3 Important Things

Maximize your savings - you can do right away.

1. Max out the match

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2. Check your statement

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3. Rollover your old account

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