How Much do you Put in Your 401k?

What do you contribute monthly? Just curious.

I was able to put away $99,968 in my Defined Benefit Plan for 2006. In the past my annual contributions range from about $59K to the figure above. It has been a great savings and investment vehicle for me.

not enough:(

Gordon. Does your company match that?

stephen

Wow Gordon you just really depressed me, lol. That's great.

Stephen,

 I am the company.  I looked into various retirement plan options a few years ago and the Defined Benefit Plan worked the best for me.  I keep control, I get to deduct what I put in each year, and the money is untouchable from any creditor because retirement accounts are protected under a State of Florida statute.

I try to max it out (401k)

Gordon, do you need a junior executive to help run the company? :)

6% - the max that my company matches

Is it better to only contribute enough to get your company match and put the rest in in IRA? Or better to max out your 401k?

Gordon,

What are the reason(s) you chose a defined benefit plan as opposed to a defined contribution plan?

What are the type(s) of investment vehicles you may utilize in your plan?

Thanks,

J ak

slayer--

Most experts recommend you put away only enough to receive the company match, then diversify into other avenues (IRAs, ETFs, etc). Most 401Ks are nothing more than glorfied savings accounts, earning around 4-5% annually (that is the average expected return). You can get some better pops from diversifying, not to mention, many 401k's do not have incredible options.

I can't remember if I put in the % that my company will match up to, or 2% more then that, in fact I don't keep track of my 401k at all, I should probably check up on it periodically

i put a grand in my roth this year, i'm not eligible for my companies 401k yet, when i am i'll put a couple grand in that & get company match so I have a 401k to go along with my roth. last thing i'm going to do after i buy a car (paying cash) is I think I'll close my checking account and just use an hsbc online savings account and save up again for a while(5% interest or so).

Jay ak,

  I was looking for a plan that allowed me to put away as much money as possible and control my investment decisions.  My accountant recommended this plan to me and it seemed like a good fit.  It has some disadvantages but gives me tons of flexibility.  I only invest in loans right now because I want to keep my overall return below 8%.  There are actually penalities (including lower contribution amounts) when the returns get too high.  I consider this a conservative pot of money that is scheduled to pay me about $150K per year when I retire (however, I never plan to retire).  I can write off all my contributions, the money is asset protected under State law, and the interest is deferred until I start taking distributions.  There might be better answers but it seemed to be a good fit for me given my income and the amount I could put away each year.

Unfortunately, estate tax planning and retirement accounts are the weakest part of my financial planning knowledge base. I know enough to understand choices but I really go to others to assist me in this stage of my life.

Gordon,

Thanks for the information regarding the type of investment options you utilize.

What type of loans do you participate in?

That's great you have the ability to write off the contributions, the asset is protected by law, and the interest is deferred until distributions.

I particularly like Rental Real Estate due to the tax benefits and Focus/Value Oriented Mutual Funds for stock market exposure. BIIEX and FAIRX are the funds, Ben Graham, Warren Buffett, and Charlie Munger influenced managers Charles Brandes and Bruce Berkowitz. Both funds average over 15% return per year since inception, not too shabby.

J ak

gokartmozart,

great minds think alike... Bruce Berkowitz is an excellent money manager for FAIRX, the BIIEX is a fund closed to new investors, and Charles Brandes is another great money manager, and the fund gives my wife and I an international value play. Charles Brandes wrote an excellent book about Value Investing, look it up on Amazon.

J ak

i was putting 15% in before our office closed down yippee

Last couple years I have been able to put in $10k in my 401k. Its a great 401 plan with lots of options, you can invest in single stocks, mutual funds or bond funds. Right now we have no company match but next year they are going to start matching 50% of every dollar to 3% of income.

6% which is company match max. Mine has been doing better than 15% with a mix of international, S&P500, housing, bonds and company stock.