WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If you are one of the fortunate people who has a job during these tough economic times, you better be taking advantage of all the benefits your employer provides. It doesn't matter what stage of your life you are in, make sure that you are participating in any type of retirement or savings plan that your employer offers.
Here are some employer-sponsored savings and retirement plans:
401(k): A retirement savings plan set up by your employer, where money is automatically taken out of your paycheck and invested in mutual funds, stocks, and other kinds of investments. Some employers may contribute to their workers' accounts.
403 (b): This plan is similar to a 401(k) and is offered by educational organizations and certain nonprofits.
457: This is a type of tax advantaged defined contribution retirement plan that is available for governmental and certain nongovernmental employers.
Pension: This is a program of fixed retirement income set up by a company or labor union.
There are also retirement savings programs for self-employed persons such as the Keogh Plan. Remember that what matters is not how much your employer contributes to your account, although it certainly helps, but that you are contributing to your retirement account as soon as you are eligible. Not taking advantage of these benefits would be like taking money that your employer is offering you and throwing it in the garbage. Better start contributing sooner rather than later!
There are many options to choose from to start saving for your retirement. In many ways, they depend on whom you work for: the private sector or the government. If you are already employed, ask your Human Resources Department what retirement benefits or investment options they have available for you and when you have access to them (usually after the probation period). If you are seeking a new job, one of the things to think about when considering job offers should be the retirement benefits included as part of a benefits or fringe benefits package. On the other hand, if your current employer does not offer retirement benefits, you might want to consider seeking another job that will provide them to you. Remember, it is your future!
For more information and examples on this topic, see "Resources for a better financial future" in the Web site of The ASPIRA Association http://www.aspira.org/. This publication was made possible by a generous grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
FINRA Investor Education Foundation
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation, established in 2003 by FINRA, supports innovative research and educational projects that give underserved Americans the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life. For details about grant programs and other FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit www.finrafoundation.org.
SOURCE ASPIRA Association