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Old 11-11-2008, 03:46 PM   #21
Recycles dryer sheets
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Maxing it out,
but thinking of putting it on hold in order to build up cash reserves in case I get layed off, which I think may be coming soon.

(retired 2009, age 48)
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:07 PM   #22
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DCA! Buying while stocks are cheap! Got enough years to go to benefit from an eventual upswing.

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Old 11-11-2008, 08:19 PM   #23
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Stopped temporarily. I was contributing at the max plus catchup, total of $20,500 last year. I changed jobs, moved to a new state & my wife had to quit her job. The job market's not great here, so she's still not employed but is looking. We sold the old house, paid off all of our debts, and now I'm going to start back contributing tomorrow. I'll try to make up most of what I didn't contribute, but don't think there's time left in the year. I should get close, though. We'll also max our Roth IRA's.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
-John F. Kennedy

“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?” - Edgar Bergen
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:42 PM   #24
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I increased the amount I save, getting close to maxing out.

Now is the time to buy.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:49 PM   #25
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we max out our pension plan at our business ($46,000 this year i think) plus $24,480 into our taxable stock / mutual fund accounts. hopefully the market will recover soon, it is getting very old crying every time i open the monthly statements!
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:17 PM   #26
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Not really a suggestion, but something to think about: The Coming Generational Storm by Scott Burns and Laurence Koltikoff (SP?) suggest at least considering the following:

DO put in enough to get your 401k match.

Then, you need to think about the effects that your eventual withdrawals will have on your tax situation. We don't know what future tax rates will be, but, Obama's promises aside, Burns/Koltikoff make a convincing argument that future tax RATES must go up to cover the roughly $60 trillion in unfunded but promised SS and Medicare/Medicade.

Also, since SS is currently partially taxed (for some) and the taxation is based on total income, and the limits are not indexed, it is likely that most of us will eventually be fully (well at least 85%) taxed on SS. My point, it's not a slam dunk to take tax deferral. It's one of the great "unknowables" of our time, but my bet is that tax rates will only go up in the future. I'm guessing it's better to pay the taxes now.

If I had it to do over (FIRE'd in '05). I'd skip anything past the employer match in a 401k and go with a fully taxable account. (I'm just assuming you're already doing your Roth to the max.) As it is, I'm currently "Rothising" as much of my traditional IRA's and 401k as I can and keep myself in the 25% tax bracket. I'm also holding off on SS (at this time) in order to "Rothize" as much deferred money as possible before my income "leaps" with the advent of SS.

YMMV, so talk to someone who knows more about this than I do. But YOU will have to make the "guess" on whether you think tax rates will increase.

Honestly, I hope I turn out to be wrong on this!! But, read the book. Scary, but well researched stuff. I think this is probably going to bite us big time. Especially you younger folks!!
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:37 PM   #27
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maxed out plus the 50+ catch-up contribution. I take $0 salary every January until I reach the maximum,instead of making smaller incremental contributions every two weeks. Been doing it for 5+years; this is probably the only year my strategy backfired.
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:34 PM   #28
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Ditto. Still maxing out (401K) plus over 50 catch-up contributions. As a believer in the power of dollar cost averaging; this is a great time to buy.
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Old 11-14-2008, 11:37 PM   #29
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Maxing out this year and next. With the employor match and tax saving I could lose 60% and breakeven. Seems like a no brainer for my situation.
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:01 AM   #30
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Maxing out both my wife and myself. While at this point the strategies of an aggressive portfolio , buy and hold, and DCA have failed for me, what else is there for me to do??
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:06 AM   #31
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I am working, but my company does not offer a 401k.
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:59 AM   #32
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Maxing out 401(k) and IRAs, here. Why on earth would I pass up a 45% discount on stocks?

DH's company just announced some very good news, so things look stable there, but we're also really working on getting our e-fund to 6 months. After we reach that goal we'll be dumping money into a taxable account and paying off our HELOC.
"You'd be surprised at how much it costs to look this cheap." -- Dolly Parton
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:09 PM   #33
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Reminder for those looking to max out their 401k's in 2009 - the limit has increased $1000 to $16,500. The catch up contribution is $5,500 for 2009. Those turning 50 or older during 2009 can contribute a total of $22,000.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:33 PM   #34
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Maxing out.

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Old 11-17-2008, 04:47 PM   #35
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Maxing out. Nothing has changed in terms of long-term planning.
Retire date sometime in 2017
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:05 PM   #36
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I started late in the savings-for-retirement game. But, once I started, I have always maxed out and will continue to do so. However, I'm being quite cautious in actually buying or adding any equities within the retirement account.
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:31 PM   #37
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DCA. I've gone from 6k annual rate to 11k, the employer puts in 4k matching. Max my IRA and DW's SEP IRA. But we've focused more on paying off debt this past year, with about 30k going on the 2nd to pay it off.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:35 AM   #38
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As of Monday I went from 0% contribution to 10% contribution. I still think fundamentally our economy is flawed but it's fallen to at least a reasonable level. I was telling my boss last year when I stopped contributing to the 401K and the housing thing was just coming to light, that in the absence of another bubble the market should only legitimately be around 8000. Now that we're down here I don't mind tossing some more money in.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:32 AM   #39
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Next month I'll max out at $30,500 for the year -- $15,500 personal plus 25% for my S-Corp's individual 401k. Presuming my job status doesn't change, I'll be at $34,500 in 2009.

Of course, I've lost around $8,000 or so of the $28,000 I put into it this year...
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:22 PM   #40
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Maxing out - and working a second j*b which goes into a taxable account monthly. If I'd sat down to script it I couldn't have come up with a better scenario. Started late but am at my peak earning years, stocks on sale, recession proof job and only debt is a mortgage at 5%. Even if this lasts > 10 years, which is my anticipated FIRE date, I would just have to work an extra year or two - and that is based on estimated returns that were conservative with a DOW at 14000...

Like Kronk I'm way underwater on this years contributions but my average cost per share keeps declining and I've TLH'd alot along the way.


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