Is a 401(k) Really the Best Way to Save for Retirement?

by Rose Marie Walano 3:59 PM, October 15, 2017

Aired October 16, 2017

Those financial lessons you learned from mom and dad (and maybe the universe)? They may not be as true as you think!

That was the premise behind LearnVest CEO and founder Alexa von Tobel's recent visit to our studio. The financial guru (and Rach's longtime friend) polled our studio audience on three common money-saving myths so she could reveal the truth behind them.

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And first up? This belief:

"A 401(k) should always be the first stop for retirement savings."

Fact or fiction?

As it turns out, this one's a myth!

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"If your 401(k) matches, where it's free money at work, then yes, that is your first stop," Alexa explains. "Think of it as a second bonus. I love it! It literally is like extra cash just going to you."

However, the finance pro warns, "If [your company doesn't match and] if you make under $118,000, you want to put your money into a Roth IRA, where you can put $5,500 a year." The big plus? Once you meet a few requirements (i.e. age, length of time you've contributed), you can withdraw your money tax-free. BUT not everyone is eligible — it's based on your income — so keep that in mind.

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Also, here's a fun fact for the youngsters out there: Guess how much Alexa says you should have saved for retirement by the age of 30?


It's never too soon to start saving, ladies and gents!

Learn more about your retirement savings in the video above!  

Plus, get Alexa's rules for budgeting in your 20s below!