You want 2011 to be a banner year. And we do, too. Here are two simple but important ways you can maximize your money in the New Year.
Grab that match. At the depth of the recession, many companies eliminated their matching contribution to employees' 401k plans. Thankfully, about 40% of those have restored matching funds, new data shows—and another 38% will resume employer contributions in the next six months. Be sure to check in with your employer about the status of your company's match—and make sure you're contributing enough to get the max of that free money. Lower fees. We've said it before and we'll say it again: One of the most important ways to increase your long-term investment gains is to reduce investment fees, ASAP.
Fortunately, new regulations are taking effect in the coming year that require 401k and other company retirement plans to disclose the fees they charge—and many companies are implementing the new rules now. Read your statements carefully so you can reduce investment costs and fatten your nest egg.
According to an analysis by the General Accounting Office—echoing numerous other studies—even a 1% higher fee can siphon off nearly 20% of your nest egg over a 20-year period.
Step it up. What money move is going to make your 2011 a better year?
- By MP Dunleavey
- December 30, 2010