What If You Over-Contribute to a 401(k)?

401k

We recently got this interesting question from a reader named Jeff: I know the IRS limit for 401k contributions is currently $17.5k / yr. What I want to know is what actually happens if I contribute more than that, say $20k? Do I get a stiff penalty?  Do I go to 401k jail?  Is this […]

Published or Updated: December 16, 2013

DR 007: How to Retire at Age 30 [with Mr. Money Mustache]

Dough Roller Podcast--Veterans Day

Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedImagine working hard for all of nine years. And then at the ripe old age of 30, you and your spouse retire to start a family. While it may sound like a fairy tale, that’s exactly what an engineer named Pete did. Pete is better known as […]

Published or Updated: March 2, 2014

DR 005: 6 Accelerators to Improve Retirement Preparedness with Fidelity’s John Sweeney

Fidelity Retirement Preparedness Study

Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedPreparing for retirement requires us to make a number of critical judgments. From how much we should be saving to how to invest our savings, these decisions will have a major impact on our ability to retire and the lifestyle we’ll enjoy during retirement. To that end, […]

Published or Updated: December 7, 2013

6 Key Retirement Planning Assumptions and How to Make Them

Key Retirement Assumptions

Retirement planning can be a confusing mess. It’s hard enough to make financial estimates one year into the future. For retirement, we’re called upon to make assumptions decades into the future. A reader named Eric recently shared his own frustration in this regard. Eric wrote: There are many retirement calculators and rules of thumb online […]

Published or Updated: November 13, 2013

Pros and Cons of Using a 401(k) to Buy a Home

401k

Recently, a reader asked us about using 401(k) funds to buy a home: “Hello, can you please give your opinion on borrowing from my 401k to purchase a home? The pros and cons? Thanks for your opinion.” Whether you should use your 401(k) to purchase a home depends on a number of factors, but borrowing […]

Published or Updated: November 12, 2013

The Definitive Guide to Social Security Benefits

SSA

If you’re like most Americans, Social Security is a big piece of your retirement plan. And if you’re like most Americans, you don’t know how much Social Security to count on or when to start taking benefits. It’s no surprise that this government-run system is pretty complicated and jargony. But the complication of the Social Security […]

Published or Updated: October 28, 2013

How Social Security Benefits are Calculated

Calculator

For most American retirees, Social Security is a huge part of the retirement equation. In fact, a recent New York Times article notes that even retirees with a $1 million nest egg rely heavily on Social Security income during retirement. Even though Social Security is so important, most of us still don’t understand exactly how […]

Published or Updated: July 9, 2013

The Required Minimum Distribution

Key Retirement Assumptions

Photo: Tax Credits All tax-advantaged retirement accounts have rules for something known as the Required Minimum Distribution. Basically, these rules are in place to ensure that you take at least a minimal amount of money in withdrawals from your retirement accounts once you reach a certain age. For many people, the Required Minimum Distribution will […]

Published or Updated: June 18, 2013

60 Second Guide to Making IRA Contributions

The other day I received an email from the IRS about IRA contributions. Believe it or not, the IRS has done a lot over the last few years to provide really helpful information about everything tax related. So I signed up for the emails, and they have been extremely helpful. So today I thought I’d […]

Published or Updated: April 25, 2013