When is borrowing from your 401K account a good idea?

Your 401K retirement account is something that is very important to your future retirement. However, like many other people you may be considering borrowing money from your 401K account to fund something that is important to you such as starting up a business. It goes without saying that you should never make a rash decision with regards to borrowing from your 401K account, as you could potentially be risking a comfortable retirement by doing this. However, there is sometimes occasions when it can be fine or even advisable to borrow from your 401K account as opposed to looking at other options.

Of course, it is important to always consider what other options are available to you when you are in need of funds, as you may find that there is something that is more suited to your needs and financially viable than using your 401K account. You should bear in mind that, other than under certain circumstances, you may end up paying hefty withdrawal fees/penalties for taking money from your 401K fund early. However, if you repay what you borrow within sixty days you can avoid these charges.

With this is mind, borrowing from your 401K retirement account on a temporary short term basis is often a good idea, as you will not be hit with the penalty fees. This is an ideal solution if you have a short term cash flow problem and know that you can repay the money within sixty days.

If you have a lot of high interest debt that is financially crippling you then you may also find that tapping into your 401K for a loan could be a good idea, as you can ease the financial strain. You will also find that borrowing from your 401K at a really low interest rate to repay a debt such as a credit card debt with a really high interest rate makes financial sense. However, you need to make sure that you do not get carried away and borrow only the amount that you actually need rather than being tempted to take a little extra – after all, it is your retirement money that you will be taking!

Essentially, borrowing from your 401K is something that would be considered ok if it is for a necessity such as medical expenses or something that is going to ultimately save you or make you more money, such as paying off high interest debt or investing in your own business. What you should never do is risk your future by taking money from your 401K simply to splash out on luxuries such as holidays.

Andrew writes frequently about personal finance as well as issues effecting both consumers and small businesses, covering everything from savings to mortgages to
business insurance cover.

Costa Rica And The US Overseas Retirement Market

For many US baby boomers with nest eggs that have shriveled during the recent financial crisis, an overseas retirement can make financial sense. Once they shift their perspective offshore, the Central American region captures a fair share of attention given its close proximity to the US. There are many connecting flights that travel daily from US airports. Costa Rica attracts more retirees than its neighbors, and here are some of the reasons why.

Costa Rica has been a popular vacation destination for decades, as well as a hot retirement spot. In fact, the country boasts the largest population of US expatriates in the region, so current retirees are following in other US citizens’ footsteps.

Costa Rica is aggressively attracting retirees by launching the first ‘retiree program,’ which offers tax benefits, exemptions, and discounts. Panama, Nicaragua, and Belize have all followed suit, rolling out their own retiree programs, but Costa Rica was the first country to put such a policy in place, actively seeking out retirees.

Costa Rica has long held a tradition of environmental protection, as evidenced by the country’s tourism slogan, “No artificial ingredients.” Tourists aren’t the only ones enjoying Costa Rica’s biodiversity. Retirees also take advantage of the national parks and beautiful landscapes.

Retirees prefer to move to more established parts of the country that provide well-serviced amenities and infrastructure. Costa Rica has a number of well-developed second home and retirement destinations available. The country is sometimes known as “The Switzerland of Central America.” Combine this with a stable democratic government and a diverse economy, and it’s easy to see why investors, tourists, and retirees flock to Costa Rica.

There is also Costa Rica’s lower cost of living to consider. Real estate in Costa Rica is much more affordable than the US. There are other countries that are cheaper, such as Nicaragua real estate for example, but Costa Rica can still provide retirees with a lifestyle they could not afford in the US.