8. Directly deposit your tax refund to an IRA.
Saving part of windfalls for retirement, including your tax refund, can help grow your retirement savings faster. You can have part or all of your tax refund directly deposited into a traditional IRA, Roth IRA or myRA using IRS Form 8888.
9. Get and keep employer contributions.
Find out how much you need to save to get any 401(k) match your employer is offering. It’s equally important to take a look at your company’s vesting schedule to see if there are any job tenure requirements before you can take the 401(k) match with you when you leave your job. “Consider if you have a vesting schedule,” says Samantha Fraelich-Rohe, a certified financial planner for IntegriGen Wealth Management in Rockville, Maryland. “If you are not 100 percent vested, you might want to wait.”
10. Find low-cost funds.
The expense ratio and other investment fees reduce the returns you earn on your investments. Investing in lower cost funds can help improve your portfolio’s performance. “Look for the low-cost funds that will fit how you want to allocate your account,” says Maureen Poplaski, a certified financial planner for Lighthouse Financial Management in Westerly, Rhode Island. Take a look at your annual 401(k) fee disclosure statement to help identify the lowest cost funds in your 401(k) plan, and remember to take into account the expense ratio and other charges when selecting funds.