There is nothing more healthy than having a secure future planned for yourself. In this age of uncertainty with the social security administration, it's a good idea to beef up your personal retirement investments. A 401(k) is a great way to go. These are usually set up by your employer and allow you to contribute a set amount of money to the fund per paycheck. The nice thing is that this money is not taxed until you actually take it out and use it.
I'm not a financial expert but I did do some research on 401(k)s and here is what I learned:
You can contribute a maximum of 17,500 per year.
If you are over 50 years old, you can contribute a maximum of 23,000 per year.
See if your company will match what you put in. Some companies will match up to 5% which is awesome. They usually require you to work at the company for a specific period of time to keep the matched money.
If you switch jobs you can roll the money into your new company's 401(k) if you want with no penalty.
The earliest you can cash out without paying a penalty is when you turn 59.5 years old.
You have to start making withdrawals after the age of 70.5, unless you are still working and do not own 5% or more of the company you work for. If that is the case, once you retire you have until April 1st of the year you retire to start making withdrawals.
You do pay a small fee on each investment in your 401(k)--keep an eye on the "fees" because some charge more than others.
Your fund will go up and down with the stock market so keep that in mind as well.
I have been contributing to a 401(k) since my early 20's. I have found that once it's set up I don't even miss the money. The fund has really grown over the years which is awesome! Give yourself some financial security and invest in a 401(k) today!