Catch-Up Contributions, Explained

Catch-up contributions allow individuals 50 and older to contribute additional money to their workplace retirement savings plans like 401(k)s and 403(b)s, as well as to individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

Catch-up contributions are designed to help those approaching retirement age save more money for their retirement as they draw closer to that time.

Learn how catch-up contributions work, the eligibility requirements, and how you might be able to take advantage of these contributions to help reach your retirement savings goals.

Key Points

•   Catch-up contributions allow individuals 50 and older to contribute additional money to their workplace retirement savings plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

•   Catch-up contributions were created to help older individuals “catch up” on their retirement savings if they haven’t been able to save enough earlier in their careers.

•   The catch-up contribution limits for 2023 and 2024 vary depending on the retirement savings plan, such as 401(k), 403(b), and IRAs.

•   To be eligible for catch-up contributions, individuals need to be age 50 or older, and certain retirement plans may have additional allowances based on years of service.

•   Catch-up contributions can provide benefits such as increased retirement savings, potential tax benefits, and additional financial security as retirement approaches.

What Is a Catch-Up Contribution?

A catch-up contribution is an additional contribution individuals 50 and older can make to a retirement savings plan beyond the standard allowable limits. In addition to 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and IRAs, catch-up contributions can also be made to Thrift Savings Accounts, 457 plans, and SIMPLE IRAs.

Catch-up contributions were created as a provision of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) of 2001. They were originally planned to end in 2010. However, catch-up contributions became permanent with the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

The idea behind catch-up contributions is to help older individuals who may not have been able to save for retirement earlier in their careers, or those who experienced financial setbacks, to “catch up.” The additional contributions could increase their retirement savings and improve their financial readiness for their golden years.

While employer-sponsored retirement plans are not required to allow plan participants to make catch-up contributions, most do. In fact, nearly all workplace retirement plans offer catch-up contributions, according to a 2023 report by Vanguard.

💡 Quick Tip: Want to lower your taxable income? Start saving for retirement with an IRA account. The money you save each year in a Traditional IRA is tax deductible (and you don’t owe any taxes until you withdraw the funds, usually in retirement).

Boost your retirement contributions with a 1% match.

SoFi IRAs now get a 1% match on every dollar you deposit, up to the annual contribution limits. Open an account today and get started.


Only offers made via ACH are eligible for the match. ACATs, wires, and rollovers are not included.

Catch-Up Contribution Limits: 2023-2024

Each year, the IRS evaluates and modifies contribution limits for retirement plans, primarily taking the effects of inflation into account. The standard annual contribution limit for a 401(k) in 2023 is $22,500, and $23,000 for 2024. For a traditional or Roth IRA, the standard contribution limit is $6,500 in 2023, and for 2024 the limit is $7,000.

Catch-up contributions can be made on top of those amounts. Here are the catch-up contribution limits for 2023 and 2024 for some retirement savings plans.

Plan 2023 Catch-Up Limit 2024 Catch-Up Limit
IRA (traditional or Roth) $1,000 $1,000
401(k) $7,500 $7,500
403(b) $7,500 $7,500
SIMPLE IRA $3,500 $3,500
457 $7,500 $7,500
Thrift Savings Account $7,500 $7,500

This means that you can make an additional $7,500 in catch-up contributions to your 401(k) for a grand total of up to $30,000 in 2023 and $30,500 in 2024. And with traditional and Roth IRA catch-up contributions of $1,000 for both years, you can contribute up to $7,500 in 2023 and $8,000 in 2024 to your IRA.

Catch-Up Contribution Requirements

In order to take advantage of catch-up contributions, individuals need to be age 50 or older — or turn 50 by the end of the calendar year. If eligible, they can make catch-up contributions each year after that if they choose to — up to the annual contribution limit.

Certain retirement plans may have other allowances for catch-up eligibility. For instance, with a 403(b), in addition to the catch-up contributions for participants based on age, employees with at least 15 years of service may be able to make additional contributions, depending on the rules of their employer’s plan.

To maximize the advantages of catch-up contributions, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the rules of your plan as part of your retirement planning strategy.

Benefits of Catch-Up Contributions

There are a number of benefits to making catch-up contributions to eligible retirement plans.

•   Increased retirement savings: By helping to make up for earlier periods of lower contributions to your retirement savings plan, catch-up contributions allow you to increase your savings and potentially grow your nest egg in the years closest to retirement.

•   Possible tax benefits: Making catch-up contributions may help lower your taxable income for the year you make them. That’s because contributions to 401(k)s and traditional IRAs are made with pre-tax dollars, giving you a right-now deduction. And contributions beyond the standard limits could lower your taxable income for the year even more. (Of course, you will pay tax on the money when you withdraw it in retirement, but you may be in a lower tax bracket by then.)

•   Additional security: Making catch-up contributions may give you an extra financial cushion as you approach retirement age. And those contributions may add up in a way that could surprise you. For instance, if you contribute an additional $7,500 to your retirement account from age 50 to 65, assuming an annualized rate of return of 7%, you could end up with more than $200,000 extra in your account.

💡 Quick Tip: Before opening an investment account, know your investment objectives, time horizon, and risk tolerance. These fundamentals will help keep your strategy on track and with the aim of meeting your goals.

How to Make Catch-Up Contributions

To make catch-up contributions to an employer-sponsored plan, contact your plan’s administrator or log into your account online. The process is typically incorporated into a retirement savings plan’s structure, and you should be able to easily indicate the amount you want to contribute as a catch-up.

To make IRA catch-up contributions, contact your IRA custodian (typically the institution where you opened the IRA) to start the process. In general, you have until the due date for your taxes (for example, April 15, 2024 for your 2023 taxes) to make catch-up contributions.

Finally, keep tabs on all your retirement plan contributions, including catch-ups, to make sure you aren’t exceeding the annual limits.

The Takeaway

For those 50 and up, catch-up contributions can be an important way to help build retirement savings. They can be an especially useful tool for individuals who weren’t able to save as much for retirement when they were younger. By contributing additional money to their 401(k) or IRA now, they can work toward a goal of a comfortable and secure retirement.

Ready to invest for your retirement? It’s easy to get started when you open a traditional or Roth IRA with SoFi. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).

Help grow your nest egg with a SoFi IRA.

FAQ

Do you get employer match on catch-up contributions?

It depends on whether your plan allows employer matching for catch-up contributions. Not all plans do. Even if your employer does match catch-up contributions, they might set a limit on the total amount they will match overall. Check with your plan administrator to find out what the rules are.

Are catch-up contributions worth it?

Catch-up contributions can be beneficial to older workers by helping them potentially build a bigger retirement nest egg. These contributions may be especially helpful for those who haven’t been able to save as much for retirement earlier in their lifetime. Making catch-up contributions might also provide them with tax benefits by lowering their taxable income so that they could possibly save even more money.

How are catch-up contributions taxed?

For retirement savings plans like 401(k)s and traditional IRAs, catch-up contributions are typically tax deductible, lowering an individual’s taxable income in the year they contribute. However, catch-up contributions to Roth IRAs are made with after-tax dollars. That means you pay taxes on the money you contribute now, but your withdrawals are generally tax-free in retirement.


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Financial Tips & Strategies: 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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INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

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Time Decay of Options: How It Works & Its Importance

Time Decay of Options: How It Works & Its Importance

Time decay, as it relates to options trading, has to do with an option contract’s loss of value as it nears its expiration date. There are numerous variables in the mix when it comes to time decay, but knowing the basics of what the terms means, and how it can affect an investment strategy, can be important for investors.

Key Points

•   Time decay refers to the reduction in an option’s value as its expiration date approaches.

•   The rate of time decay is represented by theta, which accelerates as expiration nears.

•   Options lose more value in the final month before expiration due to increased time decay.

•   Intrinsic and extrinsic values are key components in options pricing, affected by time decay.

•   Understanding time decay is crucial for options traders to manage potential profits and losses effectively.

What Is Time Decay?

Time decay is the loss of an option’s value as it gets closer to expiration. An option’s time value refers to the extent to which time factors into the value — or the premium — of the option. Time decay accelerates, or declines more quickly, as the expiration date gets closer because investors have less time to exercise the contract.

For options traders, understanding the power of time decay is important whether you’re buying call options or put options. Here are the basics you need to know.

Recommended: Options Trading: A Beginner’s Guide

How Time Decay Works

The rate of change in the time value of an option is known as theta. For traders who buy options with the intention of holding them until expiration, theta usually isn’t of great concern. That’s because traders who hold contracts until the expiry date are hoping that the underlying security moves so far in their favor that the reward in terms of intrinsic value will outweigh any loss in extrinsic value.

But traders who want to close their options position prior to expiration may be more concerned about time decay. Because the security will have less time to move in their favor, the potential profit from intrinsic value is reduced, and the potential loss of extrinsic value becomes greater.

While both intrinsic and extrinsic value are important for options traders of all kinds, the type of options trading strategy a trader is using can influence which factors they put more emphasis on.

Understanding Options Pricing

Time decay isn’t a difficult concept, but it does require a quick refresher about how options are traded and priced.

Four of the main variables that impact the price of an option are:

1.    The underlying price and strike price

2.    Time left until expiration

3.    Implied volatility

4.    Time decay

The underlying price, strike price, and expiration date of the options contract are the main factors that determine its intrinsic value, while implied volatility and time decay are the factors that determine its extrinsic value.

•   Intrinsic value. An option’s intrinsic value refers to the option’s value at the time of expiration, which depends on the price of its underlying security relative to the strike price of the contract. In other words, whether the option is in the money, out of the money, or at the money.

•   Extrinsic value. Extrinsic value refers to how time can impact the option’s value, i.e. its premium. As the expiration date of the options contract approaches, there’s less time for an investor to profit from the option, so time decay or theta, accelerates and the option loses value.

Interest rates can also affect options prices, but this is more of a macro factor that doesn’t have to do with the specific contract itself.

Thus, time value represents the added value an investor has to pay for an option above the intrinsic value. Options are sometimes referred to as depreciating or wasting assets because they tend to lose value over time, since the closer the option is to expiration, the faster its time value erodes.

Recommended: Popular Options Trading Terminology to Know

Finally, user-friendly options trading is here.*

Trade options with SoFi Invest on an easy-to-use, intuitively designed online platform.


How to Calculate Time Decay

The rate of an option’s time decay is measured by theta.An option with a theta of -0.05 (theta is expressed as a negative value) would be expected to fall about $0.05 each day until expiration, but this would likely accelerate during the days and weeks leading up to the expiry date.

Greek values like theta are constantly changing, and can therefore be one of the most difficult factors to take into account when trading options.

Example of Time Decay of Options

Imagine an investor is thinking about buying a call option with a strike price of $40. The current stock price is $35, so the stock has to rise by at least $5 per share for the option to be in the money. The expiration date is two months in the future, and the contract comes with a $5 premium.

Now imagine a similar contract that also has a strike price of $40 but an expiration date that is only one week away and comes with a premium of just $0.50. This contract costs much less than the $5 contract because the stock would have to gain almost 15% in value in one week to make the trade profitable, which is unlikely.

Thus, the extrinsic value of the second option contract is lower than the first, because of time decay.

How Does Time Decay Impact Options?

Option time decay is pretty straightforward in principle. Things can be more complicated in practice, but in general, options lose value over time. The more time there is between now and the expiry date of the option, the more extrinsic value the option will have. The closer the expiry date is to the current date, the more time decay will have taken effect, reducing the option’s value.

The basic idea is that because there’s less time for a security to move one way or the other, options become less valuable the closer they get to their expiration dates. This isn’t a linear process though. The rate of time decay accelerates over time, with the majority of decay occurring in the final month before expiration.

💡 Quick Tip: How to manage potential risk factors in a self-directed investment account? Doing your research and employing strategies like dollar-cost averaging and diversification may help mitigate financial risk when trading stocks.

The Takeaway

If you think about it, the time value of an option is similar to other things that have a value which is time dependent. A fresh loaf of bread, a new car, a newly built home — these items would have an intrinsic value, but you might also pay a premium when they’re at full value.

As time passes, though, consumers will pay less for loaf of bread that isn’t fresh — or a car or home that’s older — because time has eroded some of the value. Similarly, as an option gets closer to its expiration date, it too loses value owing to the effects of time decay or theta.

Qualified investors who are ready to try their hand at options trading, despite the risks involved, might consider checking out SoFi’s options trading platform. The platform’s user-friendly design allows investors to trade through the mobile app or web platform, and get important metrics like breakeven percentage, maximum profit/loss, and more with the click of a button.

Plus, SoFi offers educational resources — including a step-by-step in-app guide — to help you learn more about options trading. Trading options involves high-risk strategies, and should be undertaken by experienced investors.

For a limited time, opening and funding an Active Invest account gives you the opportunity to get up to $1,000 in the stock of your choice.


Photo credit: iStock/Tatyana Azarova

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Financial Tips & Strategies: 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.

Options involve risks, including substantial risk of loss and the possibility an investor may lose the entire amount invested in a short period of time. Before an investor begins trading options they should familiarize themselves with the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options . Tax considerations with options transactions are unique, investors should consult with their tax advisor to understand the impact to their taxes.
Claw Promotion: Customer must fund their Active Invest account with at least $25 within 30 days of opening the account. Probability of customer receiving $1,000 is 0.028%. See full terms and conditions.

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The Strategic Guide to Early Retirement

An early retirement used to be considered a bit of a dream, but for many people it’s a reality — especially those who are willing to budget, save, and invest with this goal in mind.

If you’d like to retire early, there are concrete steps you can take to help reach your goal. Here’s what you need to know about how to retire early.

Key Points

•   Early retirement requires significant savings, often guided by the Rule of 25, which suggests saving 25 times annual expenses.

•   The FIRE movement encourages saving 50-75% of income to retire early.

•   Effective budgeting and reducing expenses are crucial for accumulating necessary retirement funds.

•   Investment strategies should balance growth and risk, adjusting as retirement nears.

•   Health insurance planning is essential when retiring before qualifying for Medicare at age 65.

Understanding Early Retirement

Early retirement typically refers to retiring before the age of 65, which is when eligibility for Medicare benefits begins. Some people may want to retire just a few years earlier, at age 60, for instance. But others dream of retiring in their 40s or 50s or even younger.

Clarifying Early Retirement Age and Goals

You’re probably wondering, how can I retire early? That’s an important question to ask. First, though, you have to decide at what age to retire.

Schedule a few check-ins with yourself, and/or a partner or loved ones, to discuss what “early retirement” means. Is it age 50? Age 55? And what might your early retirement look like? Will you stop working completely? Work part-time? Or maybe you want to switch to a different field or start a business? Perhaps you dream of going back to school, volunteering, or traveling.

Early retirement is different for everyone. So the clearer you can get about the details now, the smarter you can be about how much money you need to make your plan work.

Insights into the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) Movement

There’s a movement of people who want to retire early. It’s called the FIRE movement, which stands for “financially independent, retire early.” FIRE has become a worldwide trend that’s inspiring people to work toward retiring in their 50s, 40s, and even their 30s.

Here’s how it works: In order to retire at a young age, people who follow the FIRE movement allocate 50% to 75% of their income to savings. However, that can be challenging because it means they have to sacrifice certain lifestyle pleasures along the way. For instance, they might not be able to eat out or travel.

Once they retire, FIRE proponents tend to use investments that pay dividends as passive income sources to help support themselves. However, dividend payments depend on company performance and they’re not guaranteed. So a FIRE adherent would likely need other sources of income in retirement as well.

💡 Quick Tip: Did you know that a traditional Individual Retirement Account, or IRA, is a tax-deferred account? That means you don’t pay taxes on the money you put in it (up to an annual limit) or the gains you earn, until you retire and start making withdrawals.

Boost your retirement contributions with a 1% match.

SoFi IRAs now get a 1% match on every dollar you deposit, up to the annual contribution limits. Open an account today and get started.


Only offers made via ACH are eligible for the match. ACATs, wires, and rollovers are not included.

Financial Planning for Early Retirement

In order to start planning to retire early, you need to calculate how much money you’ll need to live on once you stop working. How much would you have to save and invest to arrive at an amount that would allow you to retire early? Here’s how to help figure that out.

Estimating Retirement Costs and Income Needs

Many people wonder: How much do I need to retire early? There isn’t one answer to that question. The right answer for you is one that you must arrive at based on your unique needs and circumstances. That said, to learn whether you’re on track for retirement it helps to begin somewhere, and the Rule of 25 may provide a good ballpark estimate.

The Rule of 25 recommends saving 25 times your annual expenses in order to retire. Why? Because according to one rule of thumb, you should only spend 4% of your total nest egg every year. By limiting your spending to a small percentage of your savings, the logic goes, your money is more likely to last.

Here’s an example: if you spend $75,000 a year, you’ll need a nest egg of $1,875,000 in order to retire.

$75,000 x 25 = $1,875,000

With that amount saved, and assuming an annual withdrawal rate of 4%, you would have $75,000 per year in income.

Obviously, this is just an example. You might need less income in retirement or more — perhaps a lot less or a lot more, depending on your situation. If your desired income is $50,000, for example, you’d need to save $1,250,000.

The Benefits of Social Security

Once you reach the age of 62, which some consider a traditional retirement age, you are then able to claim Social Security benefits. (Age 67 is considered “full retirement” age for those born in 1960 and later, and you can wait to claim benefits until age 70.)

The longer you wait to claim Social Security, the higher your monthly payments will be. You could add those Social Security benefits to your income or consider reinvesting the money, depending on your circumstances as you get older.

Recommended: Typical Retirement Expenses to Prepare For

Effective Savings Strategies

How do you save the amount of money you’d need for your early retirement plan?

Having a budget you can live with is critical to making this plan a success. The essential word here isn’t budget, it’s the whole phrase: a budget you can live with.

There are countless ways to manage how you budget. There’s the 50-30-20 plan, the envelope method, the zero-based budget, and so on. You could test a couple of them for a couple of months each in order to find one you can live with.

Another strategy for saving more is to get a side hustle to bring in some extra income. You can put that money toward your early retirement goal.

Adjusting Your Financial Habits

As you consider how to retire early, one of the first things you’ll need to do is cut your expenses now so that you can save more money. These strategies can help you get started.

Lifestyle Changes to Accelerate Savings

Take a look at your current spending and expenses and determine where you could cut back. Maybe instead of a $4,000 vacation, you plan a $2,000 trip instead, and then save or invest the other $2,000 for retirement.

You may be able to live more of a minimalist lifestyle overall. Rather than buying new clothes, for instance, search through your closets for items you can wear. Eat out less and cook at home more. Cut back on some of the streaming services you use. Scrutinize all areas of your spending to see what you can eliminate or pare back.

Debt Management Before Retirement

Obviously, it’s very difficult to achieve a big goal like saving for an early retirement if you’re also trying to pay down debt. It’s wise to work to pay off any and all debts you might have (credit card, student loan, personal loan, car loan, etc.).

That’s not only because being debt-free feels better — it also saves you money. For example, the interest rate you’re paying on credit card or store cards can be quite high, often above 15% or even 20%. If you owe $6,000 on a credit card at 17% interest, for example, when you pay that off, you’re essentially saving the interest that debt was costing you each year.

Health Care Planning: A Critical Component of Early Retirement

When you retire early, you need to think about health insurance since you’ll no longer be getting it through your employer. Medicare doesn’t begin until age 65, so start researching the private insurance market now to understand the different plans available and what you might need.

It’s critical to have the right health insurance in place, so make sure you devote proper time and attention to this task.

Investment Management for Future Retirees

Next up, you’ll need to decide what to invest in and how much to invest in order to grow your savings without putting it at risk.

Understanding Your Investment Options

How do you invest to retire early? You can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), target date funds, and more.

One major factor to consider is how aggressively you want to invest. That means: Are you ready to invest more in equities, say, taking on the potential for greater risk in order to possibly reap potential gains? Or would you feel more at ease if you invested using a more conservative strategy, with less exposure to risk (but potentially less reward)?

Whichever strategy you choose, you may want to invest on a regular cadence. This approach, called dollar-cost averaging, is one way to maximize potential market returns and mitigate the risk of loss.

Balancing Growth and Risk in Your Investment Portfolio

Because you have less time to save for retirement, you will likely want your investments to grow. But you also need to consider your risk tolerance, as mentioned above. Think about a balanced, diversified portfolio that has the potential to give you long-term growth without taking on more risk than you are comfortable with.

As you get closer to your early retirement date, you can move some of your savings into safer, more liquid assets so that you have enough money on hand for your living, housing, and healthcare expenses.

Retirement Accounts: 401(k)s, IRAs, and HSAs

If your employer offers a retirement plan like a 401(k) or 403(b), that’s the first thing you want to take advantage of — especially if your employer matches a percentage of your savings.

The other reason to save and invest in an employer-sponsored plan is that in most cases the money you save the plan reduces your taxable income. These accounts are considered tax deferred because the amount you save is deducted from your gross income. So the more you save, the less you might pay in taxes. You do pay ordinary income tax on the withdrawals in retirement, however.

The caveat here is that you can’t access those funds before you’re 59½ without paying a penalty. So if you plan to retire early at 50, you will need to tap other savings for roughly the first decade to avoid the withdrawal penalties you’d incur if you tapped your 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) early.

Be sure to find out from HR if there are any other employee benefits you might qualify for, such as stock options or a pension, for instance.

Additionally, if your employer offers a Health Savings Account as part of your employee benefits, you might consider opening one.

A Health Savings Account allows you to save additional money: For tax year 2024, the HSA contribution caps are $4,150 for individuals and $8,300 for family coverage.

Your contributions are considered pre-tax, similar to 401(k) or IRA contributions, and the money you withdraw for qualified medical expenses is tax free (although you’ll pay taxes on money spent on non-medical expenses).

Finally, consider opening a Roth IRA. The advantage of saving in a Roth IRA vs. a regular IRA is that you’re contributing after-tax money that can be withdrawn penalty- and tax-free at any time.

To withdraw your earnings without paying taxes or a penalty, though, you must have had the account for at least five years (as per the Roth IRA 5-Year Rule), and you must be over 59 ½.

💡 Quick Tip: Before opening an investment account, know your investment objectives, time horizon, and risk tolerance. These fundamentals will help keep your strategy on track and with the aim of meeting your goals.

The Pillars of Early Retirement

Retiring early means you’ll need to have income coming in to help support you. You may have a pension, which can also help. Once you’ve identified the income you’ll be generating, you’ll need to withdraw it in a manner that will help it last over the years of your retirement.

Establishing Multiple Income Streams

Having different streams of income is important so that you’re not just relying on one type of money coming in. For instance, your investments can be a source of potential income and growth, as mentioned. In addition, you may want to get a second job now in addition to your full-time job — perhaps a side hustle on evenings and weekends — to generate more money that you can put toward your retirement savings.

The Role of Social Security and Pensions in Early Retirement

Social Security can help supplement your retirement income. However, as covered above, the earliest you can collect it is at age 62. And if you take your benefits that early they will be reduced by as much as 30%. On the other hand, if you wait until full retirement age to collect them, you’ll receive full benefits. If you were born in 1960 or later, your full retirement age is 67. You can find out more information at ssa.gov.

If your employer offers a pension, you should be able to collect that as another income stream for your retirement years. Generally, you need to be fully vested in the plan to collect the entire pension. The amount you are eligible for is typically based on what you earned, how long you worked for the company, and when you stop working there. Check with your HR department to learn more.

The Significance of Withdrawal Strategies: Rules of 55 and 4%

When it comes to withdrawing money from your investments after retirement, there are some rules and guidelines to be aware of. According to the Rule of 55, the IRS allows certain workers who leave their jobs to take penalty-free distributions from their current employer’s workplace retirement account, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), the year they turn 55.

The 4% rule is a general rule of thumb that recommends that you take 4% of your total retirement savings per year to cover your expenses.

To figure out what you would need, start with your desired yearly retirement income, subtract the annual amount of any pension or additional revenue stream you might have, and divide that number by 0.4. The resulting amount will be 4%, and you can aim to withdraw no more than that amount every year. The rest of your money would stay in your retirement portfolio.

Monitoring Your Progress Towards Early Retirement

To stay on course to reach your goal of early retirement, keep tabs on your progress at regular intervals. For instance, you may want to do a monthly or bi-monthly financial check-in to see where you’re at. Are you saving as much as you planned? If not, what could you do to save more?

Using an online retirement calculator can help you keep track of your goals. From there you can make any adjustments as needed to help make your dreams of early retirement come true.

How to Manage Early Retirement When You Get There

The budget you make in order to save for an early retirement is probably a good blueprint for how you should think about your spending habits after you retire. Unless your expenses will drop significantly after you retire (for instance, if you move or need one car instead of two, etc.), you can expect your spending to be about the same.

That said, you may be spending on different things. Whatever your retirement looks like, though, it’s wise to keep your spending as steady as you can, to keep your nest egg intact.

The Takeaway

An early retirement may appeal to many people, but it takes a real commitment to actually embrace it as your goal. These days, many people are using movements like FIRE (financial independence, retire early) to help them take the steps necessary to retire in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.

You can also make progress toward an early retirement by determining how much money you’ll need for post-work life, budgeting, and cutting back on expenses . And by saving and investing wisely, you may be able to make your goal a reality.

Ready to invest for your retirement? It’s easy to get started when you open a traditional or Roth IRA with SoFi. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).

Help grow your nest egg with a SoFi IRA.

FAQs

How much do you need to save for early retirement?

There isn’t one right answer to the question of how much you need to save for early retirement. It depends on your specific needs and circumstances. However, as a starting point, the Rule of 25 may give you an estimate. This guideline recommends saving 25 times your annual expenses in order to retire, and then following the 4% rule, and withdrawing no more than 4% a year in retirement to cover your expenses.

Is early retirement a practical goal?

For some people, early retirement can be a practical goal if they plan properly. You’ll need to decide at what age you want to retire, and how much money you’ll need for your retirement years. Then, you will need to map out a budget and a concrete strategy to save enough. It will likely require adjusting your lifestyle now to cut back on spending and expenses to help save for the future, which can be challenging.


SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): Investors should carefully consider the information contained in the prospectus, which contains the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other relevant information. You may obtain a prospectus from the Fund company’s website or by email customer service at [email protected]. Please read the prospectus carefully prior to investing.
Shares of ETFs must be bought and sold at market price, which can vary significantly from the Fund’s net asset value (NAV). Investment returns are subject to market volatility and shares may be worth more or less their original value when redeemed. The diversification of an ETF will not protect against loss. An ETF may not achieve its stated investment objective. Rebalancing and other activities within the fund may be subject to tax consequences.


Financial Tips & Strategies: 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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Tips for Investing in Retirement

6 Investing Tips and Strategies for Retirees

A lot of personal finance advice is about saving for retirement. But the need for saving and investing doesn’t stop once you’re done working; seniors also need to maintain a sound investment strategy during retirement.

Retirees face several challenges that make investing after 65 necessary, including maintaining safe income streams, outpacing inflation, and avoiding the risk of running out of money. Here are some tips seniors may consider as they choose the right path for investing after retirement.

Key Points

•   Assessing income sources and budgeting is crucial for retirees to manage financial changes without a steady paycheck.

•   Tracking down forgotten 401(k)s can recover significant unclaimed funds.

•   Understanding the time horizon and risk tolerance is essential for choosing suitable investments.

•   Diversification across various asset classes helps mitigate risks associated with specific investments.

•   Regular portfolio rebalancing ensures alignment with changing financial goals and market conditions.

1. Assess Income Sources and Budget

Once in retirement, seniors likely don’t have an income stream from a steady paycheck. Instead, retirees utilize a mix of sources to pay the bills, such as Social Security, withdrawals from retirement and savings accounts, and perhaps passive sources of income such as rental properties. This change, going from relying on a regular salary to relying on savings and investments to fund a particular lifestyle, can be daunting.

Retirees should first understand where their income is coming from and how much is coming in to help navigate this financial change. This initial step can help establish a budget that allows them to comfortably cover typical retirement expenses and map out discretionary spending or new investments in their golden years.

💡 Quick Tip: How do you decide if a certain trading platform or app is right for you? Ideally, the investment platform you choose offers the features that you need for your investment goals or strategy, e.g., an easy-to-use interface, data analysis, educational tools.

2. Track Down Forgotten 401(k)s and Other Lost Money

If you changed jobs during your career, it’s possible that you left an old 401(k) behind. As of May 2023, there were 29.2 million forgotten or left-behind 401(k) accounts, according to estimates by Capitalize, a company that helps with 401(k) rollovers. These forgotten accounts hold about $1.65 trillion in assets.

To determine if you have a forgotten 401(k), make a list of every company you worked for and where you participated in a 401(k) plan. Contact them to see if they still have an account in your name. If a company no longer exists, or if it merged with another company, check with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Visit the DOL website, where you can track down your former company’s Form 5500, which is required to be filed annually for employee benefit plans. That should give you contact information you can reach out to or at least tell you who your 401(k) plan’s administrator was.

If you still can’t find a forgotten 401(k), you could try the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits. Be aware that you’ll need to supply your Social Security number to search on their website. Another option is to check the website for the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, which may be able to help you find unclaimed funds, including an old 401(k). Check under every state that you’ve lived and worked in.

If and when you find an old 401(k), you can roll it over into an IRA. If you don’t yet have an IRA, you can set one up online. From there, you can invest the money as you see fit.

3. Understand Time Horizon and Risk

Retirees must consider time horizon and risk in post-retirement investment plans. Time horizon is the amount of time an individual has to invest before reaching a financial goal or needing the investment earnings for living expenses.

Time horizon significantly affects risk tolerance, which is the balance an individual is willing to strike between risk and reward. Generally speaking, seniors with a time horizon of a decade or more might choose to invest in riskier assets, such as stocks, because they feel they may have time to ride out any short-term downturns in the market. Individuals with a short time horizon of just a few years may stick to more conservative investments, such as bonds, where they can benefit from capital preservation and interest income.

4. Consider Diversification

Diversification involves spreading out investment across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and cash. Diversification also involves spreading investments out among factors such as sector, size, and geography within each asset class.

It is important to consider diversification when investing after retirement. Diversification may help investors protect their portfolios from the risk and volatility unique to a specific type of investment, although there is still risk involved. Retirees do not want to concentrate a portfolio with any one asset, which may increase volatility during a period when they want a low risk tolerance.

5. Rebalance Regularly

A retiree’s financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon generally affect the desired asset allocation in an investment portfolio. However, those initial goals and risk considerations can change during a retiree’s golden years.

Additionally, the market is constantly in flux, shifting the proportions of assets a person holds. It may make sense to rebalance the assets inside a portfolio regularly.

Rebalancing a portfolio can be thought of like the routine upkeep of your investments. For example, if a portfolio has an asset allocation of 70% bonds and 30% stocks and the stocks do well during a year, they might make up a higher percentage of a portfolio than planned. By the end of the year, the asset allocation may be 65% bonds and 35% stocks. The investor may want to rebalance by selling stock and buying more conservative assets, such as bonds, to ensure the portfolio’s asset allocation is in line with their goals. Alternatively, they may use other income to make new bond investments.

6. Keep an Eye on Inflation

Retirees living on a fixed income may be negatively affected by rising inflation. As prices increase, the fixed income that an individual relies on will be worth less the following year. For example, if an individual receives $1,000 a month in a fixed income and inflation rises by a 4% annual rate, then that $1,000 monthly income will be worth $960 in today’s money.

Investments that pay out a fixed interest rate, such as bonds, are most vulnerable to inflation risk as inflation may outpace the earned interest rate. Some other assets may outpace inflation, such as stocks, real estate investment trusts (REITs), or inflation-protected securities.

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Smart, Safer Investment Options for Retirees

Retirees have a lot of choices when it comes to making new investments. But their financial goals, age, and risk tolerance can impact which investments they choose to make. Here are a few investments for seniors in retirement with those factors in mind.

Cash

Cash is the most stable way to hold money, and it is a necessary part of a retiree’s financial portfolio. Keeping cash on hand can help cover necessities like housing, utilities, food, and clothes.

Retirees can put a portion of their cash in a money market account or a high-yield savings account to earn interest while having easy access to their cash. However, the interest paid out in typical savings or checking accounts tends to be very low and may not beat the inflation rate. That means the money in these accounts may slowly lose its value over time.

By comparison, some high-yield savings accounts pay nearly 5% interest, compared to the 0.47% national average rate.

Bonds

Bonds generally don’t offer the same potential for high returns as stocks and other assets, but they may have advantages for investing after retirement. Bonds typically pay interest regularly, such as twice a year, which may provide investors with a predictable income desired in retirement. Also, if investors hold a bond to maturity, they typically get back their entire principal, which can help preserve their savings while investing.

However, it’s important to be aware that while bonds are considered by investors to be a less risky investment, it’s still possible to lose money investing in them. For instance, a bond issuer may fail to make interest payments and default on the bond. Retirees should be aware of the risks involved when considering bonds.

Various types of bonds may help investors preserve capital and realize interest income during retirement, including relatively safe U.S. Treasuries. Additionally, Treasury-Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) are bonds that hedge against inflation, which can be helpful for retirees worried about rising prices.

Stocks

Stocks are considered a risky investment; they tend to be more volatile than more conservative assets like bonds or certificates of deposit. Though investing in stocks can potentially lead to significant returns, it also means there is the potential for big losses that many retirees may not be able to stomach. However, there may be value in investing in stocks for seniors.

Stock investments may help ensure a portfolio experiences capital gains that outpace inflation and have enough income in the later decades of their retirement. It may not make sense for older investors to chase returns from higher risk stocks like tech start-ups. Instead, retirees may look for proven companies whose stocks offer steady growth. Retirees may consider investing in companies that provide stable dividend payouts that generate a regular income source.

Certificates of Deposit

Certificates of deposit, otherwise known as CDs, are low-risk investments that may offer higher interest rates than typical savings accounts. Investors put their money in a CD and choose a term, or length of time, that the bank will hold their money. The term length is generally anywhere from one month to 20 years, and during this period, the investor can’t touch the money until the term is up. Once the term is over, the investor gets the principal back, plus interest. Typically, the longer the investor’s money is in the account, the more interest the bank will pay.

Fixed Annuities

Fixed annuities may provide retirees with a regular income, bolster the gains from other investments, and supplement savings. In short, an annuity is a contract with an insurance company. The buyer pays into the annuity for a certain number of years, and the insurance company pays back the money in monthly payments. Essentially, an individual is paying the insurance company to take on the risk of outliving their retirement savings.

The Takeaway

Investing for retirement should begin as soon as possible, ideally through a tax-advantaged retirement account. But the need for a sound investing strategy doesn’t stop once you hit retirement. You need to ensure that your savings and investments are working for you throughout your golden years.

Another step that can help you manage your retirement savings is doing a 401(k) rollover, where you move funds from an old account to a rollover IRA. You can even search for a lost or forgotten 401(k) to roll over into an IRA.

Ready to invest for your retirement? It’s easy to get started when you open a traditional or Roth IRA with SoFi. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).

Help grow your nest egg with a SoFi IRA.


SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: 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.

Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

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How Much Should I Contribute to My 401(k)?

Once you set up your retirement plan at work, the next natural question is: How much to contribute to a 401(k)? While there’s no ironclad answer for how much to save in your employer-sponsored plan, there are some important guidelines that can help you set aside the amount that’s right for you, such as the tax implications, your employer match (if there is one), the stage of your career, your own retirement goals, and more.

Here’s what you need to think about when deciding how much to contribute to your 401(k).

Key Points

•   Determining the right 401(k) contribution involves considering tax implications, employer matches, career stage, and personal retirement goals.

•   The 2024 contribution limit for a 401(k) is $23,000, with a $7,500 catch-up for those 50+.

•   Early career contributions might be lower, but capturing any employer match is beneficial.

•   Mid-career individuals should aim to increase their contributions annually, even by small percentages.

•   Approaching retirement, maximizing contributions and utilizing catch-up provisions can significantly impact savings.

401(k) Contribution Limits for 2024

Like most tax-advantaged retirement plans, 401(k) plans come with caps on how much you can contribute. The IRS puts restrictions on the amount that you, the employee, can save in your 401(k); plus there is a cap on total employee-plus-employer contributions.

For tax year 2024, the contribution limit is $23,000, with an additional $7,500 catch-up provision for those 50 and older, for a total of $30,500. The combined employer-plus-employee contribution limit for 2024 is $69,000 ($76,500 with the catch-up amount).

Those limits are up from tax year 2023. The 401(k) contribution limit in 2023 is $22,500, with an additional $7,500 catch-up provision for those 50 and older, for a total of $30,000. The combined employer-plus-employee contribution limit for 2023 is $66,000 ($73,500 with the catch-up amount).

401(k) Contribution Limits 2024 vs 2023

2024

2023

Basic contribution $23,000 $22,500
Catch-up contribution $7,500 $7,500
Total + catch-up $30,500 $30,000
Employer + Employee maximum contribution $69,000 $66,000
Employer + employee max + catch-up $76,500 $73,500



💡 Quick Tip: How much does it cost to set up an IRA account? Often there are no fees to open an IRA, but you typically pay investment costs for the securities in your portfolio.

How Much Should You Put Toward a 401(k)?

Next you may be thinking, now I know the retirement contribution limits, but how much should I contribute to my 401(k)? Here are some guidelines to keep in mind as you’re deciding on your contribution amount.

When You’re Starting Out in Your Career

At this stage, you may be starting out with a lower salary and you also likely have commitments to pay for, like rent, food, and maybe student loans. So you may decide to contribute a smaller amount to your 401(k). If you can, however, contribute enough to get the employer match, if your employer offers one.

Here’s how it works: Some employers offer a matching contribution, where they “match” part of the amount you’re saving and add that to your 401(k) account. A common employer match might be 50% up to the first 6% you save.

In that scenario, let’s say your salary is $100,000 and your employer matches 50% of the first 6% you contribute to your 401(k). If you contribute up to the matching amount, you get the full employer contribution. It’s essentially “free” money, as they say.

To give an example, if you contribute 6% of your $100,000 salary to your 401(k), that’s $6,000 per year. Your employer’s match of 50% of that first 6%, or $6,000, comes to $3,000 for a total of $9,000.

As You Move Up in Your Career

At this stage of life you likely have a lot of financial obligations such as a mortgage, car payments, and possibly child care. It may be tough to also save for retirement, but it’s important not to fall behind. Try to contribute a little more to your 401(k) each year if you can — even 1% more annually can make a difference.

That means if you’re contributing 6% this year, next year contribute 7%. And the year after that bump up your contribution to 8%, and so on until you reach the maximum amount you can contribute. Some 401(k) plans have an auto escalation option that will automate the extra savings for you, to make the process even easier and more seamless. Check your plan to see if it has such a feature.

As You Get Closer to Retirement

Once you reach age 50, you’ll likely want to figure out how much you might need for retirement so you have a specific goal to aim for. To help reach your goal, consider maxing out your 401(k) at this time and also make catch-up contributions if necessary.

Maxing out your 401(k) means contributing the full amount allowed. For 2024, that’s $23,000 for those 49 and under. If, at 50, you haven’t been contributing as much as you wish you had in previous years, you can also contribute the catch-up contribution of $7,500. So you’d be saving $30,500 for retirement in your 401(k) in 2024. With the potential of compounding returns, maxing out your 401(k) until you reach full retirement age of 67 could go a long way to helping you achieve financial security in retirement.

The Impact of Contributing More Over Time

The earlier you start saving for retirement, the more time your money will potentially have to grow, thanks to the power of compounding returns, as mentioned above.

In addition, by increasing your 401(k) contributions each year, even by just 1% annually, the savings could really add up. For instance, consider a 35-year-old making $60,000 who contributes 1% more each year until their full retirement age of 67. Assuming a 5.5% annual return and a modest regular increase in salary, they could potentially save more than an additional $85,000 for retirement.

That’s just an example, but you get the idea. Increasing your savings even by a modest amount over the years may be a powerful tool in helping you realize your retirement goals.

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Factors That May Impact Your Decision

In addition to the general ideas above for the different stages of your life and career, it’s also wise to think about taxes, your employer contribution, your own goals, and more when deciding how much to contribute to your 401(k).

1. The Tax Effect

The key fact to remember about 401(k) plans is that they are tax-deferred accounts, and they are considered qualified retirement plans under ERISA (Employment Retirement Income Security Act) rules.

That means: The money you set aside is typically deducted from your paycheck pre-tax, and it grows in the account tax free — but you pay taxes on any money you withdraw. (In most cases, you’ll withdraw the money for retirement expenses, but there are some cases where you might have to take an early 401(k) withdrawal. In either case, you’ll owe taxes on those distributions.)

The tax implications are important here because the money you contribute effectively reduces your taxable income for that year, and potentially lowers your tax bill.

Let’s imagine that you’re earning $100,000 per year, and you’re able to save the full $23,000 allowed by the IRS for 2024. Your taxable income would be reduced from $100,000 to $77,000, thus putting you in a lower tax bracket.

2. Your Earning Situation

One rule-of-thumb is to save at least 10% of your annual income for retirement. So if you earn $100,000, you’d aim to set aside at least $10,000. But 10% is only a general guideline. In some cases, depending on your income and other factors, 10% may not be enough to get you on track for a secure retirement, and you may want to aim for more than that to make sure your savings will last given the cost of living longer.

For instance, consider the following:

•   Are you the sole or primary household earner?

•   Are you saving for your retirement alone, or for your spouse’s/partner’s retirement as well?

•   When do you and your spouse/partner want to retire?

If you are the primary earner, and the amount you’re saving is meant to cover retirement for two, that’s a different equation than if you were covering just your own retirement. In this case, you might want to save more than 10%.

However, if you’re not the primary earner and/or your spouse also has a retirement account, setting aside 10% might be adequate. For example, if the two of you are each saving 10%, for a combined 20% of your gross income, that may be sufficient for your retirement needs.

All of this should be considered in light of when you hope to retire, as that deadline would also impact how much you might save as well as how much you might need to spend.

3. Your Retirement Goals

What sort of retirement do you envision for yourself? Even if you’re years away from retirement, it’s a good idea to sit down and imagine what your later years might look like. These retirement dreams and goals can inform the amount you want to save.

Goals may include thoughts of travel, moving to another country, starting your own small business, offering financial help to your family, leaving a legacy, and more.

You may also want to consider health factors, as health costs and the need for long-term care can be a big expense as you age.

4. Do You Have Debt?

It can be hard to prioritize saving if you have debt. You may want to pay off your debt as quickly as possible, then turn your attention toward saving for the future.

The reality is, though, that debt and savings are both priorities and need to be balanced. It’s not ideal to put one above the other, but rather to find ways to keep saving even small amounts as you work to get out of debt.

Then, as you pay down the money you owe — whether from credit cards or student loans or another source — you can take the cash that frees up and add that to your savings.

The Takeaway

Many people wonder how much to contribute to a 401(k). There are a number of factors that will influence your decision. First, there are the contribution limits imposed by the IRS. In 2024, the maximum contribution you can make to your 401(k) is $23,000, plus an additional $7,500 catch-up contribution if you’re 50 and up.

While few people can start their 401(k) journey by saving quite that much, it’s wise, if possible, to contribute enough to get your employer’s match early in your career, then bump up your contribution amounts at the midpoint of your career, and max out your contributions as you draw closer to retirement, if you can.

Another option is follow a common guideline and save 10% of your income beginning as soon as you can swing it. From there, you can work up to saving the max. And remember, you don’t have to limit your savings to your 401(k). You may also be able to save in other retirement vehicles, like a traditional IRA or Roth IRA.

Of course, a main determination of the amount you need to save is what your goals are for the future. By contemplating what you want and need to spend money on now, and the quality of life you’d like when you’re older, you can make the decisions that are best for you.

Ready to invest for your retirement? It’s easy to get started when you open a traditional or Roth IRA with SoFi. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).

Help grow your nest egg with a SoFi IRA.

FAQ

How much should I contribute to my 401(k) per paycheck?

If you can, try to contribute at least enough of each paycheck to get your employer’s matching funds, if they offer a match. So if your employer matches 6% of your contributions, aim to contribute at least 6% of each paycheck.

What percent should I put in my 401(k)?

A common rule of thumb is to contribute at least 10% of your income to your 401(k) to help reach your retirement goals. Just keep in mind the annual 401(k) contribution limits so you don’t exceed them. For 2024, those limits are $23,000, plus an additional $7,500 for those 50 and up

Is 10% too much to contribute to 401(k)? What about 20%?

Contributing at least 10% to your 401(k) is a common rule of thumb to help save for retirement. If you are able to contribute 20%, it can make sense to do so. Just be sure not to exceed the annual 401(k) contribution limits of $23,000, plus an additional $7,500 for those 50 and older for 2024. The contribution limits may change each year, so be sure to check annually.


Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: 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.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

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