401(k) builds a nest egg while you think about other things

The Ticker

May 05, 1999|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

SUGGESTIONS for your money:

"A big advantage of a 401(k) is that you sign up and forget about it," says Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine. "The money set aside disappears from your paycheck before you get your hands on it."

Other benefits:

At year-end, your contributions never appear as taxable income on your W-2 tax form.

Your money grows tax-deferred until you take it out.

"Transfer 401(k) funds carefully when changing jobs," warns Ted Benna, president of the 401 (k) Association. "If you move retirement money the wrong way, you could get hit with taxes and IRS penalties that could wipe out half of your account.

"Possibilities: Leave your 401 (k) at your old company if you're happy with it or move it to your new employer's plan. Or roll over the old account into a self-directed IRA.

"Caution: To make sure you don't trigger taxes, consult an adviser before doing a rollover."

STOCK WATCH: "When stocks rally for a long time -- like now -- then reverse on big volume, odds are that a significant top has been formed." (Wall Street Notes)

"The worst mistakes investors make is playing the latest fad." (John Bogle, CEO, Vanguard Group)

Pub Date: 5/05/99

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