Skip to Content
Special Report

Morningstar's Guide to 401(k)s

We share our strategies for making the most of your company's retirement plan.

Investing in your company's retirement plan seems simple enough. After all, you're able to set aside tax-deferred dollars for retirement--and in many cases, get a few extra dollars in matching from your employer to boot.

Yet there's still plenty to consider. How do you invest those dollars? Do you take an active approach to investing your assets and pick funds yourself? Or do you instead go with one of the plan's hands-off options? How much should you invest overall? Are the plan's options really good--or really expensive? And what about owning company stock in your plan or taking advantage of a brokerage window?

Even those who've been investing in their plans for a while can face challenges. Should you take a loan against your 401(k)? And what should you do with your 401(k) when you change jobs or retire?

In short, 401(k) plans invite the potential for plenty of goofs. To help minimize goofs and maximize your plan, we've put together a series articles.

Five (Easy) Steps to Setting Up a 401(k)
Cross this big to-do off your list.

FAQs on 401(k)s
The skinny on Roth versus traditional contributions, early withdrawals, loans, and more.

401(k) Investors: Avoid These 20 Mistakes
While company retirement plans often have guardrails, investors can goof with contributions, investment selections, loans, and withdrawals.

Traditional 401(k) or Roth 401(k): Which Is Right for You?
Plan sponsors are increasingly offering Roth 401(k) accounts alongside traditional 401(k) accounts.

What Does It Take to Have a $1 Million 401(k)?
Saving a considerable amount for retirement might not be as hard as you think.

What Are Target-Date Funds?
Investors in target-date funds can set up a diversified portfolio and maintain a sensible asset allocation for decades without breaking a sweat.

5 Questions to Ask When Taking a Hands-On Approach to Your 401(k)
Selecting your own investments? Here's what to know before you start.

Is It Ever a Good Idea to Hold Company Stock in a 401(k)?
Even if you earn your match in company shares, it doesn't mean you have to stick around.

Tips for Maximizing Your 401(k) Match
We tackle reader questions about annual contribution limits, how your contribution amount could be too high, and how the match math works.

401(k) Loans: Mythbusters Edition
Confusion abounds when it comes to taxes, payback terms, and ROI.

How to Roll Over an Old 401(k)
Is deciding what to do with an orphan 401(k) on your to-do list? Here are seven steps for getting it done.

What Should You Do With a Subpar 401(k)?
Don't despair if your plan isn't great; there are some workarounds.