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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on increasing 401K contributions

I've thought about increasing my contributions to my 401K.

Good idea, bad idea, doesn't matter???? I'm thinking as far at it being a down market right now.

I'm not "chasing losses" becasue I don't have much vested in the first place, so I'm not down much. Just thinking that once the market does turn around, I will be glad that I've put more into it when it was down. Is this correct thinking?

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:30 PM
 
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Yup, I also have some stock picks that look like they have no where to go but up and they're solid companies that are undervalued. After I pay off debt with my tax return the rest is going into the market.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:32 PM
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I don't buy stocks, so I can't say much beyond this. I am thinking that it would depend on which fund(s) your contributions were going towards. I could be wrong. I moved my future contributions into more stable funds to stop some of the bleeding. But I left most of my balances alone for the reason you mentioned above. I don't know how smart that was though.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:34 PM
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max your 401k to get whatever match your employer offers. after that, it's up to you. I invest, just not in my 401k, the market being down and you being young this is a good time to invest.

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:37 PM
 
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My 401K I left alone, I uped it to 4% max of the employer match when I got my raise but no more. My mutual funds got pummeled last year, so they have to recover eventually. I left my allocations alone.

This will be my first attempt at buying single stocks, but looking at these companies history, I don't think they're going to fail and if they make it back to where they were less than a year ago it's multiple hundred % returns.

Now if only the friggen IRS would talk to SSA and get the new SSN in the system so I could finally FILE my return and get the money to invest before these companies recover too much more.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
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max your 401k to get whatever match your employer offers. after that, it's up to you. I invest, just not in my 401k, the market being down and you being young this is a good time to invest.
+1 Its always good to max it.

Not having a raise in the past 7 years has forced me to reduce my contribitutions, but when my situation changes, it will got right back to being maxed.

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:46 PM
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Yeah, I'm at the max of what my employer matches. I was down 9.7% because the markets gone to shit, so I switched everything I had to Marriott stocks and I'm already up 7.8%.

Some stocks can only go up. Hopefully Marriott picks up soon, I'll pretty much double my money if the stock goes back to where it was before the tank.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:50 PM
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Go full employer match if it's offered; free money for you. Some companies are freezing/suspending company match programs so if you're lucky enough to have one, take advantage.


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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:50 PM
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do it!!!!!!!!

Just be sure you have the max needed to get the employer match. After that I'd rather see you max an IRA contribution or if offered a roth 401k. Unless you have a big abnormal tax obligation for the current year, if that's the case throw everything you can in 401k for this year only.

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:50 PM
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When you max, is it what the employer matches, or the government max ( which is somewhere around $15,000/yr)?

Max the government amount. At a minimum you should be taking full advantage of what your emploer will match.

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:50 PM
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Orbitz went from matching 6% to matching 3%, so I changed my contributions as such. I still max out my Roth IRA every year, though.

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scout67 View Post
When you max, is it what the employer matches, or the government max ( which is somewhere around $15,000/yr)?

Max the government amount. At a minimum you should be taking full advantage of what your emploer will match.
maxing the allowed amount vs. the match amount is debateable. if I need the money in a pinch I dont want to incur a penalty or have to pay it back. roth ira here.

Chris
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meulen View Post
Just be sure you have the max needed to get the employer match. After that I'd rather see you max an IRA contribution or if offered a roth 401k.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vcook View Post
maxing the allowed amount vs. the match amount is debateable. if I need the money in a pinch I dont want to incur a penalty or have to pay it back. roth ira here.
Both of us max according to employer match, we also have IRAs and Roth IRAs.

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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 03:29 PM
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maynard View Post
I've thought about increasing my contributions to my 401K.

Good idea, bad idea, doesn't matter???? I'm thinking as far at it being a down market right now.

I'm not "chasing losses" becasue I don't have much vested in the first place, so I'm not down much. Just thinking that once the market does turn around, I will be glad that I've put more into it when it was down. Is this correct thinking?
I would wait just a little while longer. Just my opinion. You should definitely be putting into your 401k right now. As far as INCREASING it, or maxing it out, I would wait until about March or April for that. This is MY opinion, but I look for market bottom to hit between now and then. Afterwords, barring any major event, we should be on a steady up-tick.

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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 04:24 PM
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I would wait just a little while longer. Just my opinion. You should definitely be putting into your 401k right now. As far as INCREASING it, or maxing it out, I would wait until about March or April for that. This is MY opinion, but I look for market bottom to hit between now and then. Afterwords, barring any major event, we should be on a steady up-tick.
Kinda thinking the same thing. A lot depends on how secure you think your job is and what savings you might need if it goes sour. Last thing you want is to be pulling from what you put in and get taxed on it.

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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 04:26 PM
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Kinda thinking the same thing. A lot depends on how secure you think your job is and what savings you might need if it goes sour. Last thing you want is to be pulling from what you put in and get taxed on it.
and the amateurs turn pro.

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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 04:27 PM
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and the amateurs turn pro.

Jackass!!!

Yeah I probably am the last person to give advice, but this is the internet. Everybody is a pro and makes six figures.

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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 04:42 PM
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Jackass!!!

Yeah I probably am the last person to give advice, but this is the internet. Everybody is a pro and makes six figures.
+1

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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 05:41 PM
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gotta put in enough to at least hit the percentage your company will match. My rules of thumb is that if im making enough money to live on, don't own a house, or have a child yet, then its the max 15K a year in that can be put in without getting taxed.
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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 10:31 PM
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I don't feel like reading everyones responses but the basic info you need to know is that
If you company matches you should put in at least the percent for the match.
The rest depends on what tax bracket your in and your plans to invest. 401k contributions are taken pre-tax. So if you up your conributions to the max you can effectively lower your taxible income. This is huge if it can keep you in a lower bracket.

But 401k is a long term investment. you'll pay a penalty to withdraw early so your goals/needs must be considered as well.
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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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I've always put in the most they will match. Not taking advantage of that is turning down free cash.

I took care of what I wanted to do this afternoon.

Thanks everyone

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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 05:50 AM
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it must be nice to have a job where your income is on paper, gettin paid in cash this year is killing me on my taxes, and my 'employer' doesn' t match shit

I spent 30% of my money on fast cars, 30% on women, and 30% on booze. The other 10% I wasted.
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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maynard View Post
I've always put in the most they will match. Not taking advantage of that is turning down free cash.
not always possible though. i wish i could but i have bills i want to pay off first. after than then yea, i'll raise it as much as i can afford

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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 09:23 AM
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it must be nice to have a job where your income is on paper, gettin paid in cash this year is killing me on my taxes, and my 'employer' doesn' t match shit

don't worry. Over the course of your career you'll be happy. With the bailouts and deficite rising you're going to be happy you paid taxes on it now and didn't defer it till later

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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 10:32 AM
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Paul's got it right.....


Wait till early summer, then max out your contributions.




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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 10:59 AM
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Paul's got it right.....


Wait till early summer, then max out your contributions.




Tom

I thought all the amateur day traders got weeded out after the tech bubble?

seriously, stick to your long term plans. You guys take all your money out of the market now and wait till someone with a tip tells you to put it in there is a good possibility you'll miss the majority of the move higher and be behind the curve

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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meulen View Post
I thought all the amateur day traders got weeded out after the tech bubble?

seriously, stick to your long term plans. You guys take all your money out of the market now and wait till someone with a tip tells you to put it in there is a good possibility you'll miss the majority of the move higher and be behind the curve
the tech bubble burst right when I graduated from college, ie- b4 my time.

however, I am looking to make a few bucks in the next year or two buying stocks.
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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
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I thought all the amateur day traders got weeded out after the tech bubble?

seriously, stick to your long term plans. You guys take all your money out of the market now and wait till someone with a tip tells you to put it in there is a good possibility you'll miss the majority of the move higher and be behind the curve


Not what I meant......


What I mean is..... the market should bottom in the first Quarter.... and it
would be an opportune time to increase 401K investments in the market at large.


As far as calling specific stocks / daytrading..... um, I'm not that guy.




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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 12:10 PM
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Not what I meant......


What I mean is..... the market should bottom in the first Quarter.... and it
would be an opportune time to increase 401K investments in the market at large.


As far as calling specific stocks / daytrading..... um, I'm not that guy.




Tom
Then why not increase now? doesn't make sense. By it here when it's lower. If it goes lower again buy it again. Wouldn't that work better than taking a chance on it going lower and then buy it? At least that way if it doesn't go lower you did something.

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