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Roth 401K

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401K plans may now offer an option to contribute part or all of your annual contributions to a Roth 401K? The best way to find out if your company offers this new type of retirement plan is to contact your human resources department and ask if it is being offered at your place of employment. In general, the same rules that apply to Roth IRA’s apply to Roth 401K plans.

One of the differences are that you have NO Income limits in the Roth 401K whereas the Roth IRA does, which enables high income earners to contribute for the first time. But, more importantly, you can contribute up to $15,000 per year ($20,000 if over 50 years old). A Roth IRA limit is $5,500 or $6,000 if you are age 50 or older.

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Contributions occur after taxes are taken out in the Roth 401K a well as the Roth IRA but allow for all of the money to be distributed tax free in retirement. So today you do not get the tax write off you would get with a 401K but when you retire you get all of it tax free for life. So, your paycheck would be lessened by the increased amount of taxes you would now have to pay. If you are young, and earning a decent wage, you should consider this plan. And if taxes rise in the future to pay down current debt federal debts, as they surely will, the Roth 401K will even make more sense even if you are currently in the lower income tax bracket.

In addition, once you are in retirement, there is no required distribution at age 70 as there is in a 401K. You can actually never take the money out and pass it to your heirs. You cannot do this with a regular 401K plan.

Let’s look at the difference of investing $20,000 into a Roth 401K vs a regular 401K assuming a 28% tax bracket for this illustration. We invest $14,400 in the Roth401K and $20,000 in the regular 401k. The reason I am only showing $14,400 is that we had to deduct the $5,600 in federal tax from the $20,000 to make the comparison the same. Also, we will assume a similar 8% return in both accounts and the money is invested for 20 years. At the end of the 20 years, we would show a hypothetical balance of $93,219 in the regular 401K and only $67,118 in the regular Roth 401K. If the 28% tax rate is the same at retirement, the regular 401K would yield the same amount as the Roth 401K which would be $67,118. If tax rates drop to 23% the regular plan would be worth more at $71,779 but if rates increased to 33% the Roth 401K would win with a balance of $67,118 compared to only $62,457 with the regular 401K. So, as tax rates rise in the future, the Roth 401K plan outperforms the regular 401K.

Remember with any Roth account you must hold it for a minimum of 5 years before it becomes tax free at retirement age of 59 . You might also want to consider putting half of your contributions in the regular 401K and half in the Roth 401K plan if your retirement plan allows you to do that to hedge your bet on tax rates in the future.

It is always a good idea to contact a financial advisor to give you the best possible guidance before you invest.

Please choose from the list of topics for additional information:

401K Rollover Annuities Bonds Investing
Corporate Bonds Forex Trading Futures Trading
Investment Advice IRA Investing Mutual Funds
Mutual Funds Comparison Options Trading REIT
Roth 401K Roth IRA Tax Liens
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