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Mar 26 2012 12:00AM

Question


I am turning 30 this year. What is the ideal amount I should have in my 401(k)?

Answer

“The ideal amount is dependent on a wide range of considerations,” said FPA member Clifford Straub, CFP®, MBA. “What may be an ideal amount for you at age 30 may be very different for someone else.

“There are two parts to how this question can be answered. First, you should be trying to save at least 10 percent of your income. Some of it should be held in a savings or money market account at a local bank or credit union. This money is for emergencies. Over time it should have a balance equal to about six months of living expenses. Until you reach that goal, about 50 percent of your savings should be going into that type of account. The other 50 percent should be going into your 401(k). The amount you are ideally contributing to your 401(k) should be enough to get the maximum matching contribution from your employer.”

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