Monday, Oct. 26, 2009

Exploit "Catch-Up" Provisions

Yes, times are tough but you must find the money to take advantage of the catch-up provisions in your IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or government 457 plans. If you are over 50, you can contribute an additional $5,500 to these plans, except IRAs where the catch-up limit is $1,000. Starting from scratch and assuming typical returns you can save $500,000 in just 10 years by maxing out your 401(k) including the catch-up benefit. So tighten your belt and find the money. You don't really need to eat out so often or lease a BMW or spend so much on your cable and cell phone service. If your tuition expense has fallen, dedicate the full amount to catch-up savings. If you've paid off a credit card, keep making the payment — into your 401(k). And take advantage of any windfalls, like an inheritance, unexpected bonus at work or tax refund.


Planning For Retirement: Your 50s

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