Ten 401k Moves To Make By New Year’s Day

I love this time of year.

It’s good that I’m not diabetic because my consumption of candy canes, gingerbread cookies, hot chocolate and virtually anything else you can think of that’s loaded with processed sugar goes through the roof.

But between shopping and Christmas parties, we still have to squeeze in a little time for end-of-year portfolio housekeeping. Because, let’s face it, life isn’t exactly going to slow down once we hit the first of the year.

It’s particularly important to take a good look at your 401(k) plan this time of year.

For the vast majority of Americans, the humble 401(k) remains the single most important piece of their retirement plan. And because they’re for long-term investments, moves you make today will have compounding effects for potentially the next 30 to 40 years.

So, with no further ado, let’s go through a quick to-do list of moves you need to make in your 401(k) plan before the end of the year.

1. Try to hit $18,500 if at all possible

This is it. You likely have only one paycheck left before the end of the year, or maybe two if you’re lucky. So, if you’re wanting to get the maximum tax break for this year, you have to act now. You can contribute to an IRA or to an Individual 401(k) up until the April 15 tax filing deadline, but regular corporate 401(k) contributions have to be made by December 31.

So, if you haven’t contributed the full $18,500 this year (or $24,500 if you’re 50 or older), this is your last chance to do it. Talk to your company HR department now and ask them to put 100% of your next paycheck into your 401(k)plan, if that is feasible for you. Every nickel you get into the plan is a nickel that is safe from the tax man, potentially for decades.

2. Revise your allocation

Market technicians may quibble on the details, but the bull market that started in 2009 is considered by many to be the longest in history. If you don’t look at your allocation all that often, you should give it a look.

After nearly a decade of stock market gains, it’s possible that you have a lot more exposure to stocks than you want or need. Take this time to rebalance your portfolio to an allocation that is appropriate for you at this age and stage of life.

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Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not ...

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