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MONEY GUIDE: Maximizing your employer-sponsored 401k

We’re ON YOUR SIDE with this Money Guide to make sure you’re making the most of your employer’s 401k options.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Are you making the most of your employer’s 401k options?

Grand Rapids financial professional Tami Wondergem with Equitable Advisors says too many people leave money on the table that could help them in retirement. We’re ON YOUR SIDE with this Money Guide to make sure you aren’t one of them.

When it comes to your employer-sponsored 401k, first and foremost, Tami says don’t miss out on free money!

“It’s hugely important to take advantage of and a lot of companies will match what you put in,” she said. “The earlier you get started in saving for your retirement you let interest compound for you so you can put less in.”

She recommends the “set it and forget it” strategy. 

“The money you contribute could be taken directly out of your paycheck so you don’t ever see it.”

It’s also important to understand how the funds within your 401k are actually allocated. 

“I’ve seen people who have not realized that they have it in a cash account or money market and not gaining much interest, that is a huge one that I see. Also not knowing if you are allocated conservatively or aggressively…that’s important depending on how much time you have until retirement,” said Tami.

And if you can…buy stocks now while the market is lower.

“It’s kind of like the stocks are on sale. Definitely don’t pull out! You don’t want to lock in your loss!”

Another tip from Tami: Have a professional take a look at your company 401k. They won’t be able to manage it but can review your allocations.

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