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Another consideration is how the company matches your contributions, if at all. If they wait until year end, it will not matter. However, if they match it each paycheck, then you would miss out on the matching for the last 6 months of the year if you chose to contribute for only the 1st 6 months.

Another twist to this is if you contribute the full amount of $$$ to your 401k each year and get an unexpected bonus at year-end. I max out my contributions every year for the full amount ($13k for 2004). When they occasionally give out a bonus at year end, I don't get the 3% match that my company does each paycheck because I have already hit the contribution limit.

I don't know anyway around this unless I'm forwarned of a bonus coming my way. I don't complain though. I just use the money to fund next years Roth IRA.

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