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5 Steps to Maximize 401 (k) in 2019 – The Motley Fool

401 (k) is a popular retirement savings vehicle for several reasons, including the prevalence, potential of an employer struggle, and the income tax benefits – all of which appeal to employees sucking away wages for retirement. It was $ 5.6 trillion in 401 (k) s at the end of last year.

But with as many as using 401 (k) plans, it's worth asking if they really get the most out of any 401 (k) pension plan has to offer. After all, you will only retire once, and you will not put money on the table. Here are five ways to maximize 401 (k) this year.

  man and woman sitting on the beach, relaxing by the water

Getting the most out of a 401 (k) can pay off down the road. Image source: Getty Images.

1. Use tax-efficient activity site

Traditional 401 (k) plans, meaning they are non-Roth accounts, come with two major tax benefits: Grants and investment gains are not taxable until you withdraw your money. The allowance is deductible, so it reduces taxable income in the year you make it, which saves you tax today. Then, investment gains are subject to tax so that more money is reinvested back into your portfolio and grows its own egg.

One way to get the most out of tax evasion is to be aware of the property site, which is different from active allocation. The real estate site refers to putting tax-efficient investments such as those with high trading volumes (such as actively managed funds) or those paying a lot of interest or returns (such as high-value bonds and real estate investments or REITs) in places that do not tax the gains, such as a 401 (k).

By booking ineffective investments in a 401 (k) and instead of a regular broker account, you avoid the income tax charged on interest and earnings on your investments. Accounts outside the 401 (k) are good index fund sites that are usually tax-efficient or individual stocks that are also tax-efficient – meaning you don't trade them much and don't incur taxable gains. Maximizing a 401 (k) means getting the most out of a 401 (k) tax allocation using it as a place for your tax revenue investments.

2. Avoid Fees

You can't see an investment service bill, but fees are charged from your 401 (k) funds each day. Charges are a drag on return, which means less profit for you and a smaller nest egg in the long run.

When choosing investments in 401 (k), it's a good idea to know what the fees are. You can check with the fund manager or read the required summary planning document that each 401 (k) has. Some active securities funds are more expensive than others. Fund families such as Vanguard or T. Rowe Price are usually cheap, while other active fund contributions may be extreme. Try to keep 401 k) fund contributions below 1%.

3. Take advantage of service benefits

Don't like the fund choices in 401 (k)? Some 401 (k) s offer a brokerage solution where you can buy several different funds and shares within the plan. It is a solution.

It is also possible that you can make an in-service distribution, which is a tax-free withdrawal directly to an individual pension account (IRA). Once the money from 401 (k) is transferred to the IRA, you have a wider range of mutual funds or stocks to choose from. Contact the Fund Manager or Summary Plan Document to see if distributions in the service are allowed. This can be a great way to increase the investment choice. Why limit yourself?

One disadvantage to the service department of an IRA is that you lose the ability to borrow against your nostalgia. Most 401 (k) plans allow you to borrow from the plan, but the IRA does not. Although this may be a good thing, experts recommend raiding your retirement account on foot expenses. IRAs allow for accidental withdrawals, or special one-time expenses under age 59 1/2 for certain reasons.

4. Consider a Roth 401 (k)

More and more 401 (k) providers are starting to offer a Roth 401 (k) alternative. Storage in a Roth 401 (k) is not an all-or-nothing decision. You can make some Roth and some pre-tax or regular contributions up to the annual limit of 2019, which is $ 19,000.

Tax treatment of a Roth account works the opposite of a traditional 401 (k) that provides different benefits. While a pre-tax contribution to a traditional 401 (k) lowers your taxes today and the withdrawals are taxed, a Roth is funded after tax, and eligible dividends are not taxed on retirement.

Using a Roth 401 k) can be a good idea for higher income earners who may not see so many benefits of the traditional 401 (k), or people who think they might be in a higher tax bracket in retirement than they are now.

Investors may want to consider making some Roth contributions to diversify their future tax liability at retirement. Young savers may be a long time off, but if you can get some money into retirement that comes out tax-free through Roth, it can help keep your overall income tax rate down on other retirement income sources such as Social Security or pensions.

5. Check your recipients

As with any other account, make sure the recipients are up to date. This may sound like everyday common sense, but our lives have a way of changing, and you want to make sure your primary and conditional recipients are current. This is especially true for 401 (k) s left with a former employer sometimes forgotten.

401 (k) is a great place to save for retirement, and if you maximize everything your plan provides, your money can work smarter and more difficult.

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