what’s the dealio with retirement accounts?

After my screed from yesterday I started wondering what everyone else is doing with their retirement accounts – 401(k)s and IRAs.  Personally I passed on the IRA this year (I wasn’t eligible for a normal IRA, just a Roth) and I have upped my 401(k) to ensure the maximum contribution this year.  I did this on the assumption that I’m buying at bargain prices, an assumption that I question almost hourly these days.  So what’s the thinking?  Part of me says it’s time to put spare cash in, well, cash… in order to get ready to invest in real estate or other types of investments (p2p lending, building a business, whatever).

8 Replies to “what’s the dealio with retirement accounts?”

  1. My thought is that with prices the way they are in the market itmakes sense to buy in now. If you think the market will still go down, puthalf of what you planto invest now and the rest in three months.

  2. I upped my 401(k) contribution last month, but the volatility in the stock market still makes me nervous. Jim Cramer (genius that he is) predicted that the Dow would continue to fall to $4,700. I don't think this is true, but it goes to show the fear that's driving the market right now. It wouldn't hurt to have a good bit of cash or something liquid to seize opportunities as they arise. In this market, they surely will. I would keep some cash in a trading account to pick up mispriced stocks (like Wachovia at $.01/share).

  3. The deal with all of your investments is having a plan with proper asset allocation. Just sitting on the sidelines with cash without a plan for that cash is not smart. For example, if you are bullish on real estate, put it into a REIT fund. If you need a cash allocation, ladder some CD's or buy TIPS, etc.

    If you can buy into a ROTH IRA, I would do it. Tax rates are heading way up so pay your taxes now.

  4. Since everything is on autopilot, it requires more effort for me to stop the wheel than to just let it keep turning. With 25 years until retirement, I have plenty of time. I try not to think about it too much.

  5. I always contribute to my 401k the exact amount that my company matches. For example, I get matched 8% per paycheck and 4% extra each year – so I contribute 12% each paycheck.

    The way I see it, if I loose 50% of my value I only loose my employeers contribution (Free Money), not my hard earned cash.

    I have had some arguments against this but this is what makes me feel safest.

    The rest I put in a Roth IRA for Tax Purposes. Now is a good time to stay in an international or stable fund.

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