THINK BEFORE TAPPING 401K

#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #retirement #savings #401ks
You’ve been laid off or furloughed.
You have no income, at least for the moment.
Federal stimulus, unemployment insurance etc. will help, but it may not bail you out entirely.
You haven’t got much, if anything, in savings, except, perhaps your 401(k).
You’d like to save it until retirement, but things are desperate now.
Carla Fried, from Rate.com, suggests you consider four things before you tap that retirement nest egg.
Her article was published April 16, 2020, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Fried’s first suggestion: try reducing your monthly bills. Some people have subscriptions, or belong to things, they don’t use much. If that’s the case with you, cut some of those expenses.
Fried points out that the stimulus bill allows you to stop payments on student loans until Sept. 30. Most landlords will work with you on rent. Remember, many landlords have mortgages on the place you live in, and they are hurting, too.
Fried’s second suggestion is to understand the taxes you will owe if you tape that 401(k) early. Congress has allowed those tax payments to be made over three years, but you should not tap that money unless absolutely necessary.
If you have a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k), withdraw that first, she suggests, since you can do so without a tax penalty.
Thirdly, Fried suggests taking a few minutes to think about the future. “Before you tap retirement savings, try to slow down your racing brain. Imagine yourself at 65. At 70. At 90. That’s why you save,” the article says.
Finally, Fried suggests not rushing to make that, or any, decisions because you are laid off. Know that this crisis is temporary, and if you can weather it without drastically impairing your financial future, you’ll be better off for it.
Also, take a moment to think outside the box. There are many vehicles out there that allow you to spend a few, part-time hours a week to generate an income that could ultimately dwarf whatever you would make at a job.
They can allow you to rebuild your retirement savings over time, if you desperately need to tap into it now.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
In summary, take a breath. Consider everything now and in the future before making decisions. These times will test our patience, but steel yourself to be up to the test.
Remember, too, that this situation is temporary, albeit indefinite. Some states are looking to open up certain businesses at the end of April or early May. Remember, too, that “normal” may not look like the normal you remember. Some jobs may not come back. Employers will learn from this experience, and find ways to do things that may save them money, and, perhaps, cost jobs.
For you, it’s best to wait before tapping your retirement savings, if you can, and look for other ways to generate income, if you need to.
Peter

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