One thing’s for sure about people who reach that rarefied status in their workplace retirement accounts: They are not easily spooked.
- As soon as you can, contribute enough to get the full company match. Avoid taking 401(k) loans.
- During your career, as you move from job to job, don’t cash out of your plan. Let the money be.
- Follow Fidelity’s recommendation to save at least 15 percent of pretax income annually for retirement. This figure would include any employer match.
- Invest for growth, and don’t rashly react to the daily movements of the stock market. If you’re unsure of your ability to manage your retirement holdings, consider a target-date fund. Most target-date funds hold a mix of stocks, bonds and other investments. This type of investing is designed to become more conservative as an investor gets closer to a particular retirement date. Target-date funds are generally higher in equities for younger investors.
B.O.M. — The best of Michelle Singletary on personal finance
If you have a personal finance question for Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary, please call 1-855-ASK-POST (1-855-275-7678).
Recession-proof your life: The tsunami of economic news is leading consumers, investors and would-be homeowners alike to ask whether a recession is inevitable. Regardless of the answer, there are practical steps you can take to help shield yourself from a worst-case scenario.
Money moves for life: For a more sweeping overview of Michelle’s timeless money advice, see Michelle Singletary’s Money Milestones. The interactive package offers guidance for every life stage, whether you’re just starting out in your career to living an abundant life in retirement.
Test Yourself: Do you know where you stand financially? Take our quiz and read advice from Michelle.