Understanding 401k Loans

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Half of all. Us workers participate in their employer's retirement plan about fourteen percent of those with 401k's borrow money from them understanding 401k. Loans is important both for those who already have alone and those who are contemplating getting one borrowing limits according to the irs. You can borrow up to fifty percent of your vested. 401k ballons or fifty thousand dollars. Whichever is less if you're vested balance is less than twenty thousand dollars. You can borrow any amount up to ten grand vested means you own it for employer matching funds that can take up to five years you are immediately vested in all funds that you put into the plan interest payments one of the unique features of a 401k. Loan is that you pay interest to yourself when you borrow money such as a home mortgage or an auto loan. The interest is paid to the lender when you borrow money from your 401k. You are the lender all interest paid comes right back to you and goes into your 401k account. Awesome right not so fast. Opportunity cost in the financial world. There's a concept known as opportunity costs opportunity. Costs is the loss of potential gain when one alternative is chosen over another in other words. It's what you would have received. Had you done something other than what you did. For example if back in the year two thousand you bought a carton of cigarettes instead of investing the money and amazon. The opportunity cost is sixteen hundred dollars what that can't be right. A carton of cigarettes today is about seventy five dollars adjusted for two percent annual inflation in two thousand. It costs fifty dollars in two thousand one share of amazon stock. Cost one hundred dollars today. It's worth thirty two hundred dollars when you borrow money from your 401k. The opportunity cost is the investment return. You would have earned. Had you left that money where it was over time. Investment earnings become earnings on earnings or compound interest something albert einstein dubbed. The eighth wonder of the world

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