Brought to you by Ubiquity:
During this time of economic downfall – both globally and domestically – here in the U.S., business owners, investors, and everyone in between are scrambling to make ends meet. Some are considering taking out emergency loans to help their businesses, while others are struggling to pay rent with the remains of the stimulus check.
No matter what your current economic battle is, you might also be one of the millions of people worried about the resilience of your 401K during this time. There are a few steps you can take to ensure that your 401K remains intact, despite the turbulence of the current economy.
1. Make Small Changes to Accommodate Your Present Needs
Those who were approaching retirement before the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic may be in a worse situation than others. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to plan for the long-term and may need a plan for their 401K right now. If this describes your circumstances, one of the safest options available to you for strengthening your 401K is to sell a small number of your investments.
(Note: Those who have five or more years to wait before retirement should hold off on selling investments. You have time to wait for the market to see an uptrend once again, meaning you have a better chance of earning a 10% annual return once the economy reopens and business returns to normal.)
Before committing to these sales, you need to review your asset allocations. Confirm that the mixture of stocks and bonds is reasonable, and check that you have a healthy diversity of mutual funds. Look over your portfolio and identify what aspects should be adjusted to achieve a more stable balance. For instance, if you have an excessive amount of stocks, you may want to add some bonds to balance your portfolio.
2. Remain Aware of Opportunities for Investment
Although your first instinct may be to shy away from the market at this time, many investors are, instead, using this period of economic volatility to their advantage. Remain aware of changes and exceptions from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) that may bolster your chances of strengthening your 401K.
For example, limits to 401K contributions have been raised to $19,500 (an additional $6,500 has been allowed for those aged 50 years and older). Take full advantage of this by purchasing stocks at low prices now, to earn better returns in the future.
3. Do Not Take out a Loan
The past several years of monitoring market trends and economic patterns have demonstrated that the best method for keeping your 401K funds intact is making regular contributions over a long period. Unfortunately, a popular idea that is circulating at this time is that of taking out a 401K loan.
Although it may seem like a quick way to get some cash in your pocket, you should avoid taking out a 401K loan, since the consequences are likely to outweigh the short-term benefits. If you’re unable to repay the loan, this could have a devastating effect on your finances in the future.
If you’re unsure of how to strengthen the stability of your 401K during this time, seek the guidance of a 401K plan provider. They’ll direct in you in the exact investment and contribution strategies necessary to keep your funds intact, both for now and into the future.