A 401(k) plan is an excellent way to save money for retirement. However, the money you save shouldn’t just sit there in cash. You’ll need your nest egg to stay up with inflation as a senior, so you don’t lose purchasing power. Therefore, it is essential to invest your retirement funds prudently.
Your 401(k) plan should provide various investment options that allow you to put your money to work based on your risk tolerance, investing strategy, and financial objectives. However, if this is not the case, you may choose to relocate your nest egg. Consider the following in making your selection:
Do you have sufficient investing options?
The majority of 401(k) plans provide a suitable combination of actively managed mutual funds, passively managed index funds, and target date funds. Investing your long-term savings elsewhere may be beneficial if you’re unhappy with your 401(k).
According to Vanguard, the typical 401(k) plan provided 27.5 investment alternatives last year, and this number was essentially unchanged from the average of 27.4 funds in 2020.
55% of Americans are 401(k) savers: However, it may not be the right retirement plan for you. Some 401(k)s have fewer investment options. If so, and if you don’t like the exact alternatives offered, you may want to consider putting your money elsewhere.
Consider the following if your plan gives limited investing options:
- Paying excessive fees for your investments diminishes your profits.
- Being compelled to invest too cautiously (and ending up with less money down the line)
- Being obliged to invest in a manner that is contrary to your preferences.
- Given that your retirement assets are at stake, you deserve better.
Retirement savings can be achieved in other ways.
You can create a regular or Roth IRA to invest your money if you have earned income. Unlike 401(k)s, IRAs enable you to invest in individual stocks, so you are not restricted to a few dozen funds. And additional options may also result in reduced investing expenses overall.
Another alternative is forgoing the tax benefits associated with IRAs and 401(k)s and investing in a standard brokerage account for retirement. The upside is having a great deal of financial flexibility.
Retirement must-haves: The three types of investment accounts you should utilize for saving.
With an IRA or 401(k), withdrawals made before age 59 1/2 are normally subject to a tax penalty (though there are a few exceptions). With a conventional brokerage account, funds can be withdrawn at any time without penalty. One of these accounts may be an excellent alternative if you believe that early retirement is possible.
Make sure you don’t undersell yourself.
You should ensure that if you contribute enough to your 401(k), you will be able to ensure that you receive the full company match in your 401(k). You shouldn’t feel forced to save and invest your money in a 401(k) if you’re unhappy with your investing alternatives, especially if other options might get you closer to your financial objectives.