Complete idiot's guide to 401(k) plans

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Résumé de Complete idiot's guide to 401(k) plans

New, improved text referencing stock market volatility and need for diversification-and how to do it. Expanded text, analysis, and examples on Roth IRAs and conversions Congressional/presidential action-from President Bush's proposed tax cut to proposed changes to 401(k), 402(g), 415, and pension portability. How to use 401(k), Roth, and Sec. 529 plans-and which one is right for you-to save for your children's education. ETFs and other new investment products and self-directed brokerage accounts. Pension plans, pension equity plans, Cash balance plan conversions-what's the difference?

Sommaire de Complete idiot's guide to 401(k) plans

I.THE BASICS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.

1.What Is a 401(k)?

What Is a 401(k) and Where Did It Come From? Why Do Companies Offer 401(k)s? aking Advantage of Protective Shells. 401(k) Versus Pension What's the Difference? What Kinds of Protective Shell Retirement Plans Are There? How Can I Tell If My Company Has a Good 401(k) Plan? Why Should I Participate?

2.The Rules: Understanding Your 401(k).

Who Makes the 401(k) Rules?. Understanding Your Company's 401(k). Common Features of 401(k) Plans. Loans. Withdrawals. Nondiscrimination Testing. Limits on Your 401(k) Contributions (IRS Code 415 and 401). Investment Options. Valuation: What Is It and Why Do You Need to Know About It?

3.How Safe Is Your 401(k) Money?

Keeping Track of Your Money. Safety in Times of Trouble Creditors, Divorce, and Taxes. Company Mergers. When Bad Things Happen to Good Money.

II.SAVINGS.

4.Your Best Chance at Retirement Is Your 401(k).

Individual Responsibility. Building a Plan for Your Future. What Do You Have? How Do You Get What You Want? Events That Might Sidetrack Your Retirement Strategy.

5.Developing Your Retirement Plan.

No One Plans to Fail Some Just Fail to Plan. The Retirement Planning Process. Developing Your Retirement Plan. Eight Steps to Financial Independence. Using Software to Crunch Your Numbers. Where Else Can You Save for Your Retirement? Pulling It All Together.

6.Saving Pre-Tax or After-Tax Does It Really Matter?

Understanding After-Tax Contribution. Which Is Better Pre-Tax or After-Tax Contributions? Withdrawing After-Tax Money. Pennywise and Dollar-Foolish! Better the Tax Devil You Know Than the One You Don't. When After-Tax Contributions Make Sense. Deciding What to Do.

7.Keeping Tabs on Your Account.

Knowledge Is Power or at Least a Little Control. Where Are Your Best Sources? Some Not So Interesting Reading. Check This ChecklistFrequently. Punching Out for the Last Time.

8.Using a 401(k) to Achieve Your Other Financial Goals.

Sneaking Your 401(k) Past Uncle Sam. Dumb Uses for a 401(k). Don't Use Your 401(k) as a Rainy-Day Fund. Buying Insurance. Education Funding. Buying a Home. Good Uses for 401(k) Plans. Developing an Investment Strategy. Your Other Financial Goals Calculating How Much You Should Save.

9.IRAs Versus 401(k)s Which Is Better?

What Is an IRA? Understanding IRAs. Getting Your Money out of a Deductible IRA. Nondeductible IRAs. When Using Both a 401(k) and IRA Makes Sense. Things to Consider for 2002.

III.MASTERING THE BASICS OF 401(K) INVESTING.

10.Everything You Need to Know About Investing Your 401(k) Money.

The Road to Retirement. The Basics of Investing. What Is 'Risk'?

11.The Name Game Understanding the Different Types of Mutual Funds.

How Much 'Risk' Are You Prepared to Take with Your Investments? Getting to Know the Major Investment Categories. Searching for the Ideal Investment.

12.Looking for Mr. Goodfund.

Understanding the Funds in Your 401(k) Plan. Matching Your Investment Goals to Investment Types. Investment Options at a Glance. Reading the Labels The 'Nutritional Facts' of Your 401(k) Funds. The Warning Signs: Is It Time for a Change?

13.Taking the Long View.

Investing over the Long-Term: It Works! Real Rate of Return. Playing the Odds Through Dollar Cost Averaging.

14.Betting on the Right Horse.

Picking Last Year's Winner A Story of