With the current uncertainty and flow of the economy, you may be wondering about best practices when it comes to managing your 401(k).
From coronavirus to dipping oil prices, many investors are grappling with today’s realities and plotting what to do next.
As you face some difficult decisions, we put together some points to consider as you forge ahead and protect your retirement and financial future.
Focus on goals
It’s easy to get distracted when volatility is all around.
Your response to the market conditions should align with your financial priorities.
Like most retirement plans, that priority is investing in stocks, which can experience market ups and downs.
Investments for short-term gain, however, do not really belong in a portfolio that’s mostly stocks. Therefore, think about the bigger picture, especially if retirement is more than five years away.
Avoid early withdrawal
Doing an early withdrawal will lead to a 10 percent penalty if you’re under 59-and-a-half years old.
You’ll also have to pay income taxes on these funds. Plus, you’ll lose out on tax-advantaged growth to your holdings.
There aren’t enough positives to justify an early withdrawal, which should be used as a last resort.
Review contribution rate
Stick with your schedule of injecting money into your financial plan. At the same time, check that the contribution is max out to how much your employer will match.
Just like buying stocks on discount, now is a good time to lock up free money from your employer.
Check asset allocation
401(k) plans are designed for the future. Younger investors may lose sight of that reality.
Depending on the asset allocation and planned time for retirement, assess the allocation and adjust future purchases toward more stocks given the circumstances.
The opposite holds true for investors nearing retirement. Now is the time to adjust stock funds that have overperformed and focus on more fixed-income investments.