Most people look at their 401k and examine how much they have contributed during year end. We know this because most people talk about it during November and December when everything is set and done. Some think a little further ahead and try to plan for the next 12 months during year end but unfortunately most don’t. Therefore, I suggestion today that we all log into our 401k account to increase our contribution rate.
The beginning of the year is a great time to increase our contribution rate because the change will be reflected the entire year. Unless you are already at the contribution maximum, I suggest contributing an additional 2% this year. 2% won’t be much off each paycheck, especially since taxes won’t be charged immediately on the 2%. Furthermore, 2% is a lot of money if you keep on contributing your career earnings into it, especially since compound interest will work in our favor through the years.
Speaking of 401k contribution rates, many plans offer a way to automatically increase the contribution rate each year. This is a great feature for those that always put things off as it will automatically increase our savings each year. Remember, automatic savings is always good.
I know that it’s always hard to decide to invest more money into our retirement when the stock market is down. Trust me on this one though, because everyone will thank me years down the road when we are wealthy.
Editor's Note: I've begun tracking my assets through Personal Capital. I'm only using the free service so far and I no longer have to log into all the different accounts just to pull the numbers. And with a single screen showing all my assets, it's much easier to figure out when I need to rebalance or where I stand on the path to financial independence. They developed this pretty nifty 401K Fee Analyzer that will show you whether you are paying too much in fees, as well as an Investment Checkup tool to help determine whether your asset allocation fits your risk profile. The platform literally takes a few minutes to sign up and it's free to use by following this link here. For those trying to build wealth, Personal Capital is worth a look.