Understanding the Basics

Key Considerations

To help you make decisions about where to save for retirement that fit your specific situation, consider the following points:

  • Consider making the maximum pre-tax contribution to your company retirement plan, especially if it has a company match. Payroll deductions ensure the money will go into your account.
  • A company retirement plan will typically allow you to make a much higher annual contribution than an IRA, which is capped at $6,000 in 2020 (up from $5,500 in 2019). Catch-up provisions may apply.
  • Most company retirement plans allow you to take a loan against your account balance.
  • If you've maxed out the pre-tax annual contribution to your company retirement plan, and you qualify to establish a Roth IRA, save in the Roth IRA to take advantage of tax-free growth and withdrawals. If you don't qualify for a Roth IRA, you can make a non-deductible contribution to a traditional IRA.

Keep in mind that it's your responsibility to make sure you have enough money when you retire. Here are some questions to ask as you go along.

  • Are you saving enough?
  • How much can you afford to save?
  • How should you use your 401(k) plan to save?
  • What other retirement savings options do you have?
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