Author Topic: Advice Sought on Changes to 401k  (Read 1351 times)

PhilosophicalPhrugalista

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Advice Sought on Changes to 401k
« on: December 21, 2016, 01:46:24 PM »
I recently learned that my company may quit giving a match for our 401k plan and am weighing my options. I'd appreciate insights and thoughts from others.

Background:
  • I started this job in February and have been contributing slightly more (11%) than the match amount (8%) since I started in order to lower my tax bracket. Current value ~$9K
  • I'm not eligible for the match until I've worked here and contributed for a year.
  • I have an existing Roth IRA and a rollover IRA as additional retirement vehicles. I fully funded the Roth for 2016. Approximate value of both accounts $115K.
  • I'm also aggressively paying down student loan debt, which will be at ~$115K by the end of this year. (Please refrain from flaming debt taunts at this time as I've already made incredible progress this year and should have this wiped out by the end of 2018.)
  • I'm 41, which is why I'm working on simultaneously continuing to build my retirement and eliminating my debt.
I'm pondering whether I should continue contributing to the 401k since there will be no match. Or, should I focus on funding my Roth again and allocate more money to the debt to wipe that out faster? Or, should I just keep everything as is, since it is working as a saving vehicle regardless of match? Any angles I'm not considering? I'd be very interested to hear from people who've been in a similar situation and if there's anything you learned, or regretted, or thought worked particularly well. I want to consider my options as I plan for next year. Thank you!

mskyle

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Re: Advice Sought on Changes to 401k
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 03:00:07 PM »
What are your investment options in the 401k, i.e. what funds and what are the expenses?

What tax bracket are you in?

What are the interest rates on your student loans/other debt?

You can save a lot more pre-tax dollars in the 401k than you can in an IRA. The Gospel of Investment Order suggests that you should keep investing in the 401k unless the fees/options are awful or your student loan interest rates are very high.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Advice Sought on Changes to 401k
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2016, 03:52:33 PM »
In general I'd say that if you plan to have $115k of debt paid off within two years regardless, you should keep making your retirement contributions. You seem to have quite a bit of cash flow above and beyond the retirement contribution limits, and you can't go back in 2019 when the loans are gone to max out your 401(k) for 2017 and 2018.

chasesfish

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Re: Advice Sought on Changes to 401k
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2016, 05:09:04 PM »
Max the 401k, every year.  A tax break today is better than a government promise years from now.  401k, Roth, and Student Debt.  I'd pay them in that order

PhilosophicalPhrugalista

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Re: Advice Sought on Changes to 401k
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2016, 01:41:37 PM »
Thank you all for taking the time to reply and weigh in. I appreciate your thoughts and advice. I'll continue as I have been, regardless of decisions made around the match.