“National 401(k) Day: How to Make the Most of Your Retirement Savings”
Alex Morton 09/06/2023
3 Minutes

Mark your calendars for September 8th, 2023 - National 401(k) Day! This annual celebration is designed to promote retirement savings education and increase awareness about the importance of saving for retirement. Take advantage of this opportunity to better understand your retirement plan and invest in your future.

So what is a 401(k)?

A 401(k) is an extremely powerful tool for saving for retirement sponsored by employers. By contributing a portion of their pre-tax income, individuals have the opportunity to decrease their taxable income and delay taxes. Furthermore, many employers offer matching contributions, which means individuals can receive free money to help boost their retirement savings. With a 401(k) plan, there is also the advantage of flexibility, as there are various investment options available and higher contribution limits. However, it is crucial to be aware of the limitations and considerations of a 401(k), such as early withdrawal penalties and required minimum distributions. Overall, a 401(k) is an outstanding choice for securing a robust financial future.


We have some valuable tips to help you maximize your 401(k) savings!

Maximizing your employer's 401(k) plan match is a fantastic way to supercharge your retirement savings and secure your financial future. By saving enough to receive the maximum match, you can significantly boost your retirement benefits and maximize the value of your retirement plan. This opportunity is too good to pass up, so make sure to take advantage of your employer's match right away!

However, don't settle for the default savings rate. Nowadays, new employees are often automatically enrolled in a retirement account at work, with 3% of their pay deposited into their company's 401(k) plan. While saving 3% of your salary is a step in the right direction, it may not be enough to maintain your desired lifestyle in retirement. Instead, aim to save an additional 1% of your income each year when you receive a raise, gradually reaching a goal of saving up to 20% of your pay.

Stick with it until you achieve full vesting in your 401(k) plan, which will unlock your employer's generous match and give a significant boost to your retirement savings. Meeting the vesting requirements ensures that you have complete ownership of your employer's contributions, empowering you to make wise investment decisions and enjoy potential growth and returns. Achieving full vesting brings peace of mind and financial stability, reminding you of the importance of long-term dedication and patience when saving for retirement.

Take advantage of smart strategies to unlock hidden tax advantages. Two powerful tactics to reduce your taxable income when it comes to your 401(k) distributions are net unrealized appreciation and tax-loss harvesting. Net unrealized appreciation (NUA) allows you to enjoy a more favorable capital gains tax rate on the difference between the average cost basis of your employer stock and its current market value. Tax-loss harvesting, on the other hand, can help you offset taxes on gains and income by selling securities that have dipped in value. Don't worry; you can replace the sold security with a similar one to maintain your asset allocation and expected returns. Say goodbye to unnecessary taxes and hello to financial freedom!

Consider diversifying your investment options by opting for a Roth 401(k). With a Roth account, your contributions are made after tax and have the potential to grow tax-free. This means that when you reach retirement and start withdrawing money from your Roth account, you won't have to worry about paying taxes on those funds. It's an intelligent way to diversify your retirement savings and enjoy tax-free growth for a more financially secure future.

It is strongly advised to avoid cashing out your 401(k) before reaching the age of 59½ to avoid income taxes and a 10% penalty tax. Early withdrawals can disrupt your retirement plan, causing you to miss out on potential growth and compound interest. Instead, explore alternative options such as establishing emergency funds or adjusting your budget. For expert guidance on the tax implications, consult with a financial advisor. Remember to stay committed to your savings for a secure retirement.

When it's time to move on from your job or retire, consider the benefits of transferring your 401(k) into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or another employer's plan that doesn't charge any fees. This savvy decision allows you to maintain the tax advantages and investment options you've diligently built up over time. It also simplifies the management of your retirement savings by consolidating your funds in one place. Take the necessary time to carefully assess your options, looking for low fees and reliable customer support. This way, you can make an informed decision that optimizes your financial future.

To make the most of your 401(k) balance, review your plan's fees, familiarize yourself with potential tax implications, and avoid common mistakes. Staying proactive and well-informed about the rules and regulations will safeguard and enhance your financial future.

Diversify your assets to mitigate risk and enhance returns. Allocate investments across different asset classes, industries, and geographic regions. Invest in various investment vehicles within each asset class. Regularly monitor and adjust investments as needed. Consult with a financial advisor to assess risk tolerance and investment goals. Build a resilient and financially secure future.