The purpose of a 401(k) is to provide retirement income, so the last thing you ever want to do is access that money while you're still working. But if times get tough and you grow desperate for cash, you might be tempted to tap that account early and access the money that's technically yours.
Can you believe over 52 million Americans have over 4 trillion dollars invested in 401(k) accounts? While most understand the mechanics behind the 401(k) – allowing workers to save and invest a portion of their paycheck before taxes are taken out – many are not aware that there are things to think about regarding maximizing your account’s financial security.
When you’re a young adult searching for or working in your first full-time job, retirement is likely a distant thought. However, creating good habits early can significantly affect how and when you are able to retire.
If you are contributing to a 401(k) plan, you probably enjoy seeing those savings increase each year. When you change jobs, you may think of that money as a way to pay moving expenses and other costs connected to starting a new position. Or, you may think of the account as a way to save for a house or another large purchase, or to borrow money for your child's education.
You're interviewing for a new job, and you ask whether the company offers a retirement account. The employer says yes, and you move on to other topics. When you accept the job, you enroll in the retirement account and begin making contributions, but later on, you're disappointed by your savings.