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Author: pbrig One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 25241  
Subject: Should I bother with the 401k? Date: 9/20/2000 12:10 AM
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Would it pay to enroll in a 401k if I could up and leave whenever a better oportunity arises? I've been with my present company for a year and will be enrolling soon. The problem is I may remain for a week, or a decade, or anywhere in between. That's the nature of my profession. If it matters, I'm in my thirties, single, with no dependents.
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Author: donk23 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 9307 of 25241
Subject: Re: Should I bother with the 401k? Date: 9/20/2000 12:35 AM
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Would it pay to enroll in a 401k if I could up and leave whenever a better oportunity arises? I've been with my present company for a year and will be enrolling soon. The problem is I may remain for a week, or a decade, or anywhere in between. That's the nature of my profession. If it matters, I'm in my thirties, single, with no dependents.

Unless you were certain that your employment time was going to be a few weeks or months, I wouldn't take that into account. It would be a shame to end up two years from now at the same company still not having contributed to the IRA (assuming, of course, that a contribution is deemed in your best interest).

You don't say if the employer matches any part of the contribution and you also don't comment on the general quality of the investment choices. These are two important factors in your decision to participate.

If my employer matched any significant part of my deferral and there were at least marginally acceptable investments, I would personally participate at least up to the matchable percentage. Those who do not are simply turning down free money.

If there was a match but the investment choices were atrocious, I would look at the expected total return on my deferral (including the employer's match) and compare that to what I could get just investing my money after tax, either in a Roth IRA, regular IRA or taxable account.

If there was no match at all, I would first fully fund a either a Roth or a regular IRA supplemented and then defer additional monies to the 401(k) but only if it has decent investment choices.

These are just my ideas. You'll have to make up your own mind.



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Author: TheBreeze Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 9339 of 25241
Subject: Re: Should I bother with the 401k? Date: 9/22/2000 11:49 AM
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Would it pay to enroll in a 401k if I could up and leave whenever a better oportunity arises?...
I may remain for a week, or a decade, or anywhere in between.


1. If you enroll, you can save money tax deferred, and it will grow tax deferred. That's a big benefit!

2. Automatic deduction from your check means you won't "miss" the money, like you might if you wrote a check each month to an investment firm.

3. Company matching is free money!

4. Your company matching money might be forfeited if you leave before you "vest," but you won't lose your own contributions. A while back, most places required ten years to vest...now it's seldom more than five years, and many places let you vest immediately.

The 401k is a GREAT way to save money and invest. The main downside is if your company offers crummy investment choices, or goes with an insolvent or dishonest administrator. Are there any "old farts" around who've been investing for years that you could ask about those things?

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