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Keys to Protecting Your 401(k) If Your Employer Ends Contribution Matching

Filed under: Investments, Saving
Tags: , — Written by: Simos
June 25, 2010

Photo by: Sanja Gjenero (Stock Exchange)

In a previous post, we introduced 401(k) retirement savings plans. If started early and kept growing with a good rate of contribution from both employee and employer, the 401(k) can be one of the best ways to keep the bills paid after leaving the workforce.

But there’s the catch: the vitality of the 401(k) and its ability to stand up to big post-retirement challenges is built largely on employer contribution matching, where “the boss” chips in a quarter or more for every dollar an employee draws into his or her plan.

What happens when, after years of plugging along on your investment, an employer suddenly withdraws their support for contribution matching? Today, we’ll talk about what to do. (more…)

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Demystifying Finance: What is a 401(k)?

Filed under: Budgeting, Family Finance, Investments, Saving
Tags: , , , — Written by: Simos
May 13, 2010
Retiremnt money

Retirement money
Photo by: Billy Alexander (Stock Exchange)

Every time there’s a dip in the stock market or a big company falls into dire straits, you can hear people fretting about three things: debt, the mortgage, and the value of their 401(k). For many, a 401(k) is a critical part of retirement savings. For others, especially young folk entering the workforce or professionals for whom retirement is a long way away, the 401(k) is something else entirely: a mystery, off in the unforeseeable realm of the future.

But, as with any long-term savings goal, the sooner you start saving for retirement, the sooner you can plan to enjoy it. Since retirement can mean many years of your life – and there’s just no telling what kind of Social Security protections or other government programs will be healthy twenty, thirty, or forty years down the line – it’s important to start thinking about it now. So we begin with an introduction: just what is a 401(k)?

(more…)

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