Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
I recently read a report suggesting that if you are not saving at least 10 percent of your gross income, then your chances of outliving your nest egg in retirement are great—very great. What does this mean for your retirement strategy?
When your employer offers a matching contribution to your retirement fund, you have an opportunity to greatly increase your retirement savings and to save a substantial amount in less time. If you don’t use the offered money to its fullest potential, you aren’t getting the full benefits from your job.
Find out the maximum contributions
To get the maximum amount of savings matching offered by your employer, you must know how much of your own contribution is expected. If you have a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA, your contribution is capped at $5,000 a year. However, this is only your own portion of the contributions. Your employer can contribute that same amount each year.
With a 401(k), 401(b), a SIMPLE IRA, a ROTH 403(b), and other retirement fund types, annual contribution limits may be as high as $17,000 a year. If you aren’t able to pay that much into the fund each year, find out how much you need to contribute to get the highest possible contribution from your employer. You may find out that the employer’s contribution is capped at a far lower rate.
A common system is to match 50 percent of an employee’s contribution up until the yearly retirement contributions reach 6 percent of the employee’s annual salary. If you have this system, or a similar one, be sure you understand exactly how much you need to contribute in order to get that maximum employer contribution.
Understand your employer’s vesting schedule
Many employers offer matching retirement contributions on a vesting schedule. This means that the amount that the employer contributes is not fully yours until you reach a specific milestone of your employment
If you have been with a company for four years and the vesting schedule requires five years, consider keeping your job for another year in order to qualify for full retirement matching. It may be in your best financial interest to claim this money rather than leave the job for greener pastures. If you do leave early, the contributed money will be taken out of the account, which can leave you with a substantial loss to your retirement savings.
Get the right start with your retirement strategy
If you are just starting a new job that comes with retirement matching, be sure to sign up for this benefit as soon as you are allowed. Many employers have a waiting period until the matching program goes into effect. According to U.S. News and World Report, 29 percent of employers have a one-year waiting period before employer matching takes effect, and 30 percent have a one-month to six-month waiting period.
Find out exactly when you will become eligible, and sign up for the program as soon as you are. Delaying your admission into employee matching will leave you without the free money that your employer is offering.
Expert Retirement Advice: Bud Hebeler
Retirement Planning: Most Affordable Places To Retire
Investing Advice For Selling Your Gold
Investing in Company Stock: Pros and Cons
Beginning Financial Building Blocks
Jeff Rose is a certified financial planner and author of the blogs Good Financial Cents and Soldier of Finance. Learn more about his Roth IRA Movement that has inspired over 140 personal finance to educate young adults on the importance of saving.
The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.