When we look at the future, we often can become overwhelmed by the various choices and demands. Where should we put our funds to secure the best outcomes? For most people, the answer comes down to maximizing the following resources:

 

First, the 401K

If your company offers matching, your first move should be to max out your 401K. Every dollar sort of the maximum for matching is a piece of your compensation you are leaving on the table.

Next, the Roth IRA

You can contribute up to $5500 a year into an IRA, and even more if you are over 50 and entitled to catch up contributions. One of the advantages of a Roth over a traditional IRA is that you are not required to take mandatory distributions. Plus, if you have a non-working spouse, you can also open a Roth IRA based on your income. This allows you to double your retirement savings.

Roth IRAs also have advantages when it comes to how the money in them can be used. Penalty-free withdrawals can be used to pay for expenses like college, allowing you the flexibility to fund your retirement and a child’s education from the same account.

Planning for College

If you have children, you should also put money aside for their education in a plan like a 529 plan. 529 plans come in two types: pre-paid tuition and college savings plans. Every state has at least one 529 plan available. Check your state’s options to see which works best for you.

Taxable Investment Accounts

After you have maxed out all of your tax-advantaged savings options, it’s time to continue building your savings in a standard investment account. These accounts can allow you engage in more active investing or to diversify into investments not covered in your retirement accounts.

There are many options when it comes to making the most of your money. By prioritizing the accounts that have matching and the ones with the best tax advantages first, you can make sure that every dollar is working its hardest for you.

 

Are you ready to create a plan for living the life you’ve always dreamed about?  Contact us today to schedule your complimentary discovery meeting. 

Your Guide to Financial Independence

Rick Epple, CFP(r)