If you’re approaching the age of 59, which is when you can start withdrawing funds from your retirement account without paying a 10% penalty, you’re probably excited about the prospect of being able to spend and invest the funds that you’ve been setting aside for so many years. However, before you actually buy yourself luxuries or make large investments with the money, it’s always wise to examine your options and discuss your goals with a professional financial advisor. In many cases, leaving your money in the 401k and using it to invest is the wisest route to take, but there are other ways to put the money to work while you enjoy retirement. With the following three tips, you should be in an ideal situation to fully capitalize on your 401k after retirement.
1. Rollover into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
A traditional IRA can function similar to a 401k in that it can be used as central account for funding investments during retirement. However, it also offers some unique benefits while still allowing your funds to grow in a tax-deferred manner. First, beneficiaries will have the ability to inherit your investment assets, which is typically not the case in a 401k. Your investment activity and earnings are also more private in an IRA, shielding information from creditors and thereby preventing unwanted interaction with them. Opening an IRA is one of the most common pieces of advice given to people who are wondering what to do with a 401k during retirement.
2. Invest in U.S. Treasury Bonds
If you’re looking for investment vehicles that offer the lowest possible risk and the most predictable return, your best move would be to put money into U.S. Treasury Bonds. These government-backed securities offer an exact fixed return every year. Treasury bonds pay an annual return of 2.75% on your investment, or $27.50 for every $1,000 stored in the account. So, someone with $500,000 in treasury bonds would earn $13,250 in tax-free income per year on complete autopilot.
3. Open a High Interest Savings Account
If you anticipate the need to occasionally withdraw funds from your 401k account, it would be best to store that money in a high interest savings account instead. This will give you access to the funds without any penalties or restrictions. Many of these accounts also have no balance caps or service fees. There are some high interest savings accounts that pay almost as much as treasury bonds with an annual percentage yield (APY) as high as 2.3%.
Consult with an Expert Before You Do Anything
While you might feel like you know exactly what to do based on the tips above and your own research, it’s still best to speak with a financial advisor before you make any long-term commitments. For most people, storing the money in a high-yield savings account and then investing a portion in treasury bonds is an ideal starting point. Finally, you may also want to consider the possibility of investing in fully managed business endeavors to engage in a form of “soft retirement” in which you’re still active as an entrepreneur but you don’t do much work.