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5 Things Your 401k Provider Doesn’t Want You to Know

For many American workers, signing up for an employer-sponsored 401k plan is pretty much a no-brainer.

It’s hard to turn down the tax savings and the employer match. If you enroll right away, you might not even miss the money that’s coming out of your paycheck every month. And at most companies, signing up is automatic—check a few boxes and you’re done.

But if you leave that workplace and want to take your 401k savings with you? Well, that isn’t always so easy. You’ll have decisions to make regarding where that money could go—perhaps to an IRA or a new employer’s 401k.

Of course, your old 401k plan provider isn’t going to advise you to take the balance and roll it over into an IRA. They’re making money off your money. It’s up to you to decide the pros and cons of sticking with the old plan vs. moving to a new account that has perks of its own.

Every saver’s needs are different, and a rollover isn’t right for everyone. But here are five things 401k providers don’t want you to think about as you consider rolling your money into a new account.

Fees Matter to Your Bottom Line

If you automatically signed up for the employer-sponsored 401k when you started your job, you may not be aware of all the updates within the plan—or that you could do better by making a change. Despite ongoing efforts by federal regulators and others to make retirement plans more transparent, most 401k participants don’t seem to know or care how much they’re paying.

(Perhaps because they don’t feel they have much control over those investments or a connection to the people who do. Or maybe they simply trust that their employers are looking out for their best interests and have negotiated the lowest fees possible on their behalf.)

Service and Selection are Important

Some 401ks have limited investment options. Some lack good customer support. Depending on who’s in charge of managing your account, if you’ve moved on to another employer, it may be especially difficult to get either.

Diversification is important in a 401k, and that means putting together a portfolio with more than just mutual funds. And when an investment or strategy isn’t performing as expected, or if your asset allocation needs to be rebalanced, you need to be sure someone is keeping an eye out for you.

There’s a Chance You’ll Lose Track of Your Old Account

Okay, you might not forget you have money … somewhere. But because most accounts are now managed online, you probably don’t receive paper statements. Unless you check your balance regularly, you might not remember your password, account number or even the name of that old 401k company.

You could neglect to change your name or the beneficiary on your account if you get married or remarried. And if you forget to update your email address through the years, you likely won’t receive notices about changes. Will you eventually figure it out? Probably. But you risk leaving a virtual trail of accounts behind you as you move from one employer to the next.

An IRA May Offer More Flexibility Than You Think

If your goal is to stash away money for retirement, you’ll want convenient withdrawal options when you get there. Some 401(k) plans limit participants to quarterly or annual withdrawals in retirement—which doesn’t play well with most income plans.

With an IRA, you can take distributions whenever you want after age 59½—including setting up a monthly withdrawal plan. (Just as with a 401k, you’ll be required to take minimum distributions from a traditional IRA after age 70½.)

Doing a Rollover Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

Start by checking out accounts to learn which option best suits your needs. You can do this online, and you’ll probably be able to set up your account online as well. (Or use the phone, if that’s more comfortable or if you have questions.) Be sure you understand everything that’s required to open an account, and think about how you’d like to see your money invested, so you can get it working for you right away.

Next, contact the financial company that’s managing your 401k. Ask about their rollover requirements and make sure you’ve met them. (There might be some forms for you to fill out. You may be able to do that work online, or they may accept a request from the company managing your new account.) Make sure you verify your account number and your current account balance. Have the 401k provider send a check in that amount to your new IRA.

Once everyone’s questions have been answered and you’ve completed all the necessary forms, the money will be sent directly to the financial institution that’s home to your new IRA with instructions to roll the money into your account. This is called, creatively, a “direct rollover,” and it’s the safest option for getting your money from Point A to Point B. The other option, an “indirect rollover,” can cost you time and money.

Confirm that your money is in your new account and that your goals, timeline and tolerance for risk are made clear. If you aren’t sure what you want or where you stand, work with an advisor who can help you with the basics.

If your new employer offers a 401(k) with some level of matching contribution, you may want to contribute enough from each paycheck to take advantage of that money. Otherwise, you may wish to stick strictly to saving in your new account to make the most of the investment options and personal service.

When you leave a job—whether it’s to retire or to move on to a better opportunity—there’s a lot to wrap your arms around. It’s easy to let an old 401k get lost in the shuffle. But doing a rollover doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming.

An IRA Might Be A Good Choice

Opening a SoFi Invest account is simple; you can do it online or on the phone. SoFi lets you invest multiple ways and without fees. You can get started with active investing if you want to do it yourself, or automated investing for a hands-off role.

SoFi advisors are credentialed financial planners who are paid a salary, not a commission or fees, so they’re looking out for your best interests. Plus, there are no SoFi management fees. SoFi can help you take a look at your current 401ks and tell you what fees you are being charged. Then, the advisors can help you put a game plan in place for your investments.

SoFi offers both traditional and Roth IRA accounts with a wide variety of portfolio options, so you can find a mix that works toward your objectives. Advisors choose from a broad mix of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and because these ETFs follow more than 20 indexes, you’ll have a diverse asset allocation.

With a SoFi Invest® account, your nest egg won’t be an afterthought. You can easily track your money and keep it working for you.

Choose how you want to invest.

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SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance.
This information isn’t financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on specific financial needs, goals and risk appetite.
Diversification and asset allocation can help reduce some investment risk. They cannot guarantee profit or fully protect against loss in a down market.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

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A Guide to Law School Loan Forgiveness

From court hearings in criminal cases to environmental law, as an attorney you are in the unique position to both influence public policy and potentially impact change. But the road to becoming a lawyer can be a pricey one.

On average, a private law school costs $47,112 annually in tuition and fees . That adds up by the time you graduate—not to mention you probably had to pay for four years of undergraduate study also. No wonder so many new law school graduates feel overwhelmed by their student loans.

On the plus side, there are ways to save money on your loans while still pursuing a legal career. Law school loan forgiveness is a possibility, as is refinancing your student loans at a lower interest rate.

First, however, plan your post-law school budget and make a repayment plan for your loans (while factoring in your salary and potentially time off to prepare for the bar).

From there, you can factor in all your options—including loan forgiveness for lawyers, which could repay or wipe out portions of your debt. But know that student loan forgiveness is not the only way to cut down on your law school loan payments—and it may not be the best choice for you, depending on the type of law you plan to practice.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness for Lawyers

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program may be the most well-known option in terms of loan forgiveness for lawyers.

The premise is simple: If you work in a qualifying public service field, then the remainder of your direct student loans can be forgiven after you make 120 consecutive qualifying monthly payments over 10 years. However, many people attempting to meet those requirements can find the process confusing and difficult.

The first step to qualifying for public service loan forgiveness is filling out the employment certification form .

In order to earn loan forgiveness, you must work for a qualifying government organization or tax-exempt non-profit organization, and you must be enrolled in a qualifying repayment plan—generally a federal income-driven repayment plan. The next step is to make your monthly loan payments promptly! If you meet all those requirements and payments, then at the end of 10 years, the remainder of your debt could be forgiven.

While loan forgiveness sounds like the dream, there are downsides, too. Income-based or income-driven repayment plans are typically tied to how much you earn. If you’re not earning much in relation to your loan balance and as a result are making very small payments, then you might end up paying a hefty amount of interest in the long run. The other challenge is that federal loans (that are not in default) are the only loans that qualify for federal income-based repayment plans—which means you can’t refinance them at a lower interest rate with a private lender.

Obviously, if you put all that time and money in and then it doesn’t pay off, it could cost you. Since the original Public Service Loan Forgiveness program went into effect in 2007, the first students eligible were set to have their loans discharged in October 2017.

Yet the Department of Education reported that out of about 7,500 applications only around 1,000 were expected to qualify for loan forgiveness. That was mostly due to misinformation and borrowers believing they were making qualifying payments only to find out after the fact they’d been given incorrect info by their loan providers.

Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation

While Perkins Loan cancellation is most commonly used for teachers, some attorneys could qualify to have their Perkins Loan cancelled.

If you are a lawyer working as a public defender—for a federal community defender organization or in a legal nonprofit serving children—you could also have your federal Perkins Loan cancelled as a type of public service loan forgiveness. Up to 100% of your federal Perkins Loan can be canceled after five years of qualifying service.

However, public service loan forgiveness for lawyers is not the only option. There are a number of other law school loan forgiveness programs—also known as loan repayment programs or loan repayment assistance programs.

Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program

The Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment program is a type of law school loan forgiveness aimed at encouraging newly minted attorneys to work for the Department of Justice. Applications for the program open in the spring (typically on March 1) and applicants must commit to three years working for the Department of Justice.

In return, you can receive up to $6,000 per year (for a maximum of $60,000 total) paid toward your student loans. It’s not exactly law school loan forgiveness, but it is law school loan repayment.

The fine print: You must commit to three years of full-time employment for the Department of Justice, and if you don’t fulfill your commitment then you could be on the hook for any loan payments made on your behalf. You must have at least $10,000 in eligible student loans, which includes Stafford Loans, PLUS loans, Perkins Loans, and a few other types of student loans. (All criteria information is available on the Department of Justice’s program website .)

Payments are made directly to the loan servicer and all loan repayments made by the Department of Justice ASLRP are considered taxable income. It’s also a highly competitive program, but if you’re looking at a career working for the DOJ, then it could be a great way to get your start and wipe out some debt.

John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

The other popular law school loan forgiveness program is the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment program . It’s administered out of the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and is for those working as public defenders.

The good news is if you work as a public defender for three years, then you could be eligible for up to $10,000 per year in loan repayments (for a maximum of $60,000 total). Each state has a specific agency that administers the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment program, so check the list of designated agencies to apply.

The Herbert S. Garten Loan Repayment Assistance Program

The Herbert S. Garten Loan Repayment Assistance Program is a grant program that allows your law school loans to be repaid if you work full-time for one of the grantee organizations (primarily nonprofit legal services and legal aid organizations). For the 2018 funding cycle, applicants must have had at least $75,000 in eligible law school loans and income below an annual cap—$62,500 in the lower 48 states, $71,875 in Hawaii, and $78,125 in Alaska.

Up to $5,600 each is awarded to each of around 70 attorneys annually through an application process that opens in the spring.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAPs)

Many schools also offer their own loan forgiveness for lawyers, also known as loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs). Most of these programs have salary requirements, typically that you earn less than around $75,000 , and that you work in a qualifying field, often the public service sector.

The specifics of the loan repayment assistance programs vary from school to school, so you’ll have to check with your law school’s financial aid office. Here is a semi-comprehensive list of law schools with LRAPs .

Most states also have LRAPs providing a type of law school loan forgiveness if you work in that state—often in the public sector, for a qualifying nonprofit, or in underserved communities. These programs typically offer $2,000 to $7,000 annually in loan repayment assistance.

An Alternative to Law School Loan Forgiveness

Even if law school loan forgiveness seems out of reach, law school debt doesn’t have to be overwhelming. According to the American Bar Association (which commissioned a task force to study the problem), the average law student graduated private school in 2014 with $127,000 of debt and public school students graduated with $88,000 of loans. (These are the most recent figures available from the ABA.)

Getting those loans forgiven would be great, but it could also end up costing you money in the long run if you end up paying higher interest rates or don’t pursue the career you want in the hope of securing loan forgiveness.

Consolidating federal student loans is another option, but can be complicated: In order to keep your loans as federal loans (a requirement of many loan forgiveness programs), you have to consolidate under the Direct Loan Consolidation program .

Through this program, your new interest rate is the weighted average of your existing loans’ rates. However, refinancing your federal student loans (and your private student loans, if you have any) at a lower interest rate could reduce the amount of money you pay over the life of the loan.

If you are looking for a solution to get ahead of your law school debt, consider refinancing with SoFi. When you refinance, depending on your earning potential and credit history, you could lower your interest rate or your monthly payments.

At SoFi, there are no prepayment penalties on refinanced student loans and if you lose your job your monthly payments can be paused, and SoFi can even help you find a new one.

If you’re looking to get your law school debt under control, consider refinancing your law school loans with SoFi. It takes only two minutes to check your rate!

Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.


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How to Start Paying off Your Loans on an Entry-Level Salary

Congratulations! Not only have you graduated college, but you’re also starting your first job. It’s an exciting time, and a great opportunity to use what you learned in college and apply it to life on your own: how to manage your time, how to meet and engage with different types of people, and, of course, all the knowledge you picked up in class. However, something else many students pick up in college is student loan debt.

According to Forbes , student loan debt is quickly catching up with mortgage debt.

In fact, student debt now ranks as the second-highest consumer debt category in the United States. CNBC reported that in 2018, the average student loan debt upon graduation was $37,172, which marks a $20,000 increase from 2005.

And it’s not just a few people graduating with debt—an estimated 70% of all college students will graduate owing money to somebody else.

In fact, Americans collectively hold $1.5 trillion in student debt. That’s a lot of money, especially when you take into account how little entry-level salaries can pay these days, even for college graduates.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics , the most popular undergraduate degree in America is a business-related degree. It’s undoubtedly a versatile academic path and business majors have the ability to work in a number of fields, but it’s a degree that comes with an average entry-level job salary of just $62,000 a year, according to PayScale .

Trying to balance an entry-level paycheck with rent, food, bills, and massive student loans can be overwhelming, but it’s not impossible. Delaying loan payments isn’t necessary; here’s how you can start paying off your student loans on just an entry-level salary.

Creating a Budget That Includes Paying off Debt

Upon graduation and starting your new job, it’s key to create a budget that’s comfortable for you. This can include setting aside money to grow both an emergency fund and a retirement fund.

To create a budget, gather all of your financial documents, including your post-tax income statements. You’ll also need to compile all your monthly bills, such as rent, utilities, food, entertainment expenses, insurance, the minimum requirement on your student loan repayments, and anything else you spend money on each month.

Tally up your expenses, and see how much you have left over after putting your after-tax income toward your bills. If you have money left over, consider stashing some away in an emergency fund and some in a retirement account—any amount can help. (Note: Retirement may seem far away, but if you start early you could see serious returns in your golden years.

As NerdWallet calculated, assuming a 7% interest rate, if you start saving $200 a month when you turn 25, you could have about $528,000 by the time you turn 65.)

Consider a Job Eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you’re willing to work in the public sector and are open to relocating, several states have programs that may forgive part or all of your student loans. These programs are often geared toward students who recently completed grad school.

So a forgiveness program like this might be a fit for post-grads earning an entry-level salary. For example, if qualified health care professionals agree to work in areas of Alaska experiencing a provider shortage, the state may pay off up to $35,000 of those graduates’ loans.

California offers a similar deal for health care workers, offering repayment assistance up to $50,000 for a two-year commitment to working full time in high-need areas.

In North Dakota , qualified veterinarians can see up to $80,000 of their student loans repaid by the state if they are willing to live and work there for four years.

On the federal level, teachers may be able to take advantage of the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program in all states. To qualify, the teacher must teach full time for five consecutive academic years in a low-income school or educational service agency.

Consider an Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan

The government is willing to help those who cannot afford their current federal student loan payments with programs including IBR, Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE).

What all of these essentially do is rejigger your repayments to an amount you can afford each and every month. NerdWallet explains that the right IBR plan could reduce your payments to as little as 10% of your discretionary income each month. So, if you took out a loan after 2014 and are currently paying more than 10% of your discretionary income on a student loan, the IBR plan may be an excellent option for you.

Think about a Side Hustle

Sometimes, an entry-level salary isn’t enough to make a dent on your student loan balance. For those feeling particularly underwater with student loan repayments, getting a side hustle may be the answer, but not all side gigs are created equal. To help subsidize your entry-level job salary, look for a gig you’ll actually find fulfilling. This could involve using pre-existing skills, such as freelance photography, copy editing, or consulting.

It could also just be something you enjoy doing and is easy to get involved in, such as driving for a ride-sharing company or completing tasks for people via a site like TaskRabbit. Whatever it is, try to make it fun or useful for your future career goals so it feels less like work.

Look into Refinancing Your Student Loans

If you’re unhappy with your current student loan rates, you may find relief through student loan refinancing.

By refinancing, you could make your student loan debt more manageable and potentially become debt-free sooner. (Don’t forget that refinancing with a private lender means you’re no longer eligible for the federal programs we mentioned above—like PAYE, REPAYE, loan forgiveness, and income-based repayment plans.)

You can start by checking out SoFi’s student loan refinancing options and see if there’s a better interest rate out there for you. You might be able to lower your payments or shorten your term.

Ready to take control of your student loan debt? It only takes two minutes to find out what your new interest rate would be if you refinanced your student loans with SoFi.

Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.
No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
The savings and experiences mentioned herein may not be representative of the experiences of all members. Savings are not guaranteed and will vary based on your unique situation and other factors.
SoFi does not render tax or legal advice. Individual circumstances are unique and we recommend that you consult with a qualified tax advisor for your specific needs.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

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Achieving Your Career Goals This Year

You’ve decided this year is the year to find the right career. Now…where do you start?

Making a career change is about more than just finding the right job. It’s about finding an honest answer to the question, “what career is right for me?”

There are so many ways to figure this out. What is your passion? What are you good at? What have you been trained to do? What experiences can you reflect on to inform your decision?

But there’s usually an elephant in the room: how much does it pay? And, is it enough to meet my goals?

If you only focus on one thing this year to improve both your career and your finances, earning more is a big one. In order to get your money right, you have to get your career right. Here are four ideas to help you make more this year:

Get That Raise

When was the last time you got a pay increase? If it’s been longer than a year, it may be time to get that raise. SoFi has a free online tool that develops a personalized action plan to help you negotiate for more.

This interactive experience helps gather information like job title and years of experience and based on your location and other factors shows your value in the market. The tool also creates a professionally designed presentation to be used during negotiation, so you’ll have all you need to get that raise.

Climb the Ladder

Step up to the next level at work with a promotion and salary increase. If you haven’t recently had a performance review with your manager, the new year is a great time to set one up. Let him or her know that you would like to discuss your career path, and come prepared with data on what you’ve accomplished and a clear ask on where you’d like to go next.

Recognize that while you may not get what you’re asking for tomorrow, you’re taking an important first step in the process. Get clear on what you’d need to do to earn a promotion, and discuss a timeline for next steps.

Move On—and Up

Not getting any traction on a pay bump? It might be time to consider your next move. Chasing your ambition means taking action. The first step is to get clear on your career goals so you know what roles to go after.

What challenges seem exciting to you? What are you well-prepared to do, and what would you rather avoid? What other experiences can you draw on as examples of your skill set—for example, previous jobs, volunteer work, side hustles?

Start a Side Hustle

Finally, consider monetizing a hobby by turning it into a side hustle. You can earn some extra cash while developing new skill sets that might translate into future opportunities. You might be thinking: but I don’t have any hobbies that I could sell! What comes easily and naturally to you?

Maybe you’re an Excel wiz and could create custom spreadsheets. You take amazing photos, and not just because you used portrait mode on your smartphone. You have an eye for graphic design and a knack for website layout. Or you already make cute crafts for your kids’ school and could easily make more.

You’re awesome at putting outfits together and could teach people to style themselves more confidently. There’s at least one thing you’re already great at, and the good news is there’s an internet startup for just about every skill these days. What are you already doing that you could expand on and sell?

Of course, taking on any of these strategies is easier said than done. If you’re excited about tackling a new career project but not quite sure where to begin, consider working with a career coach. Career coaches typically work one-on-one with clients to achieve whatever goal they are working toward.

That could be as simple as a resume and LinkedIn refresh, or as complicated as transitioning to a new industry. Did you know? SoFi members get complimentary access to career coaches and a supportive community in our member Facebook group .

Not a SoFi member? Join today!

The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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How Much Should I Have Saved in My 401k?

Retirement is supposed to be the golden age of relaxation. Whether it be reading the garden, lazy days spent fishing, or early mornings on the golf course, when you retire, there are no bosses or daily meetings to preoccupy you. But what is the best way to get there?

Saving for retirement can seem daunting, especially when you consider housing expenses, student loan debt, and other day-to-day living expenses.

The average American retirement savings leave much to be desired. Most Americans nearing retirement age in the U.S. have only 12% of the recommended $1 million saved.

Actively preparing for retirement is one of the best ways to ensure you can spend your later years relaxing and enjoying your well-earned time off. There are a wide variety of accounts that allow you to save for retirement, from Traditional and Roth IRAs to a 401k, 403b, or other investment accounts. One of the most popular retirement vehicles is the 401k.

If you’re getting ahead on saving for retirement you may be wondering “how much should I have in my 401k?” While the answer to that varies depending on your financial situation, age, and more, there are a few retirement guidelines that can help you better prepare for the future.

What Is a 401k?

A 401k is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that allows both you and your employer to make contributions to the account. If your employer offers a 401k plan, you are most likely able to select a percentage or specific monetary amount to contribute to your 401k from each paycheck.

One of the major benefits of a 401k is that your employer can also make contributions. If your employer offers matching contributions, it makes sense to participate in the 401k plan, at least up until the matching maximum. Matched contributions are determined at your employer’s discretion, so check your company policy to see what is offered at your workplace.

There are two kinds of 401ks. When you contribute money to a traditional 401k, the money is tax deductible, but will be taxed when you withdraw it in retirement, at the income bracket you are in at that time. When you contribute to a Roth 401k, the money is taxed at the time of contribution, at the tax rate you are currently in. But it’s not taxed when you withdraw the money.

For both Roth and Traditional 401ks, the contribution limit for 2018 is $18,500. If you are over the age of 50, you are allowed to contribute an additional $6,000, known as a catch-up contribution. When you contribute money to a 401k, it is intended to be used in retirement .

Because of this, there is a penalty if you withdraw money before the age of 59 ½. On the other side of the age spectrum, if you do not begin withdrawals by the age of 70 ½, you will be faced with fines and penalties.

Average 401k Balance by Age

Your readiness for retirement will depend on a few factors; including your age, income, and expected retirement age. While everyone’s situation is different, it’s never too early—or too late—to start preparing for retirement.

To see if you’re on track with your retirement goals, take advantage of free online resources, like a retirement calculator that will help you estimate your financial readiness for retirement.

The earlier you start saving for retirement, the better. But if you’ve gotten a late start, there are ways to boost your retirement savings. As you age, your strategies for saving for retirement will shift. Here’s what to expect in your 20s and beyond.

In Your 20s

You’re just starting out in the work force and chances are you’re still paying off your student loan debt. While paying off your student loans and spending money on happy hour may seem more important than saving for retirement, the earlier you begin saving, the more time you will have to benefit from compound interest.

Compound interest is interest calculated on the initial principal and on the interest accumulated over the previous deposit period. This means saving for retirement in your 20s has significant advantages when you are finally ready to retire. Some experts think by the time you turn 30 , you should have saved one year’s salary toward your retirement. The average 401k savings for someone in their 20s in 2017 was $9,900.

In Your 30s

Your 30s are when you want to kick your retirement savings into high gear. It’s a good rule of thumb to up your retirement savings contributions to 15% of your monthly income . You may have other expenses like kids or a mortgage, but you’re also likely making a bit more money than you were in your 20s—so take advantage and invest some of that money in your future.

No one else will be looking out for your financial health in retirement. The average 401k savings for someone in their 30s in 2017 was $38,400.

In Your 40s

By the time you have reached your 40s, you should have a considerable chunk of change socked away for retirement. Common financial advice is that you have at least three times your annual salary saved at 40 if you intend to retire at 67. Often times, your 40s are also when you’re faced with financing your children’s education.

And when push comes to shove, many parents will put their child’s education ahead of their retirement savings. You’re now considerably closer to retirement than you were at 22, so consider opening an independents retirement savings account like an IRA, in addition to contributing to your company’s 401k plan.

Diversifying your investments may help reduce some investment risk. The average 401k savings for someone in their 40s in 2017 was $91,000.

In Your 50s

When you turn 50, you can begin making catch-up contributions to your 401k and IRA. You can contribute an additional $6,000 a year to a 401k and an additional $1,000 a year to your IRA. Take advantage of these catch-up contributions and continue to save.

Consider adding any bonuses or extra income into your 401k to boost your savings. The average 401k savings for someone in their 50s in 2017 was $152,700.

In Your 60s

As you get into your 60s, you can see retirement at the next exit. Now would be a good time to adjust your investments into less risky options. As retirement becomes more real, take the time to prepare for the unexpected and safeguard some of your investments. The average 401k savings for someone in their 60s in 2017 was $167,700.

But the average couple in their mid-60s will have to cover approximately $280,000 in health care costs. Make sure your retirement plan accounts for health care costs.

About 70% of Americans surveyed in 2016 said they plan to work as long as possible. Extending your working years could lead to financial gains down the road. Depending on when you were born, you qualify for Social Security benefits at different ages. If you were born after 1960, you won’t be able to collect Social Security until you are 67.

Invest with SoFi Invest®

If you are looking for opportunities to expand your retirement savings and complement your employer-sponsored 401k plan, consider investing with SoFi. If you have an old 401K, we can help you find out how much you are paying in management fees. Then, we can help you determine the impact of rolling over your 401K into an IRA with SoFi. Schedule an appointment here.

Additionally, at SoFi, we offer a competitive wealth management account with no SoFi management fees and members get complimentary access to financial advisors.

We’ll work with you to establish your financial goals and determine the risk profile you are most comfortable with. SoFi will work to diversify your investments and automatically rebalance your profile as needed. You can start investing with as little as $100.

Ready to take control of your financial future? See how a SoFi Invest account can help you reach your retirement goals.

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SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance.
This information isn’t financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on specific financial needs, goals and risk appetite.
Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit or fully protect loss in a down market.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

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