Since its inception nearly 40 years ago, the 401(k) has become one of the most commonly used retirement savings vehicles. It’s popular with employers because it relieves them of the burden of funding a pension. The 401(k) plan is popular with employees because it usually offers a broad range of investment options, tax-deferred growth and employer matching contributions.
While a 401(k) can be a powerful retirement accumulation tool, it can also be complex to manage, especially after you’ve left your employer. Many workers leave their 401(k) balances in their former employer’s plan after they leave. They may feel that’s their best option, or they may forget about the balance altogether.
However, many employers have decided they aren’t going to keep former employee balances in the plan forever. Many companies have adopted a policy known as “forced rollover.” Under a forced rollover, your balance is automatically rolled out of the plan and into an IRA. Most plans only enforce this type of rollover for balances under a certain threshold.
A budget can be one of your most valuable financial tools as you plan your retirement. Your budget can help you plan your required income and make smart buying decisions. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t use a budget. According to a study from U.S. Bank, only 41 percent of American households rely on a budget to guide their spending.1
Even if you don’t use one today, there’s nothing saying you can’t change that habit in retirement. However, you may find it difficult to project your future expenses. After all, you can’t predict the future. You can, though, use your current expenses and your plans for retirement to develop an accurate estimate of your anticipated spending.