Get Your 401(k) On Track

The median 401(k) balance for people nearing retirement is $149,400, enough to provide a mere $9,000 annually in retirement, according to the Wall Street Journal. Try living on that, even if you add Social Security.

Need to do better? Resolve to use your 401(k) benefit for all it’s worth. You’ll typically find 401(k) investments in these asset classes:

1. Bonds: short-, intermediate-, and long-term. Bonds also are classified by investment grade, such as “high-yield” investments in “lower-quality” bonds
2. Large cap equity funds: growth, value, or a blend of growth and value
3. Small cap companies: growth, value, or a blend
4. Mid cap companies: growth, value, or a blend
5. International companies: growth, value, or a blend. There also are “global funds” and “developing-market funds” internationally.
6. Real-estate funds
7. Socially responsible funds
8. Money market accounts (MMAs) and other fixed-return investments, such as guaranteed investment contracts (GICs)

Learn about your investment options by studying your 401(k) plan’s enrollment books and by looking at the past performance reports on investment funds within the plan. At the same time, always recognize that past performance is no predictor of future performance.

If you don’t have a lot of investment experience, target funds and lifestyle funds offer a quick way to invest in a diversified portfolio.

Once you choose a strategy and pick a mixture of stock funds, bonds, and fixed investments, it’s up to you to follow your 401(k) statements closely and reallocate your blend of funds every six months or at least yearly.

And if you need help planning for your retirement, talk to a Hopewell Federal Credit Union investment adviser to get on the right track.

 

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