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401k contributions

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  • 401k contributions

    1 year into my Chapter 13. Things are going great.

    As as I was pretty cash strapped for the year before I filed for bankruptcy — crippling credit card debt payments — I wasn’t making any 401K contributions.

    My attorney says that, as long as I can make my monthly payment to the trustee, I am free to resume contributing to retirement.

    I have no mortgage (renting), no car payment and meager savings. I’m delighted not to have to take a 5-year time-out from saving for retirement!

    I’m considering trying to put a little more into my emergency fund and then resuming saving for retirement... maybe in September 2018. My only worry is tying up that money. What if I have a job loss?


  • #2
    Hi newlife...i think you're the only one who can answer the question. How secure do you feel in your job? You say you will build up your emergency fund first (good plan). The good thing is you can stop the 401K payment, if necessary (eg, job loss or suspected job loss). I can tell you what I did, but that doesn't help you make your decision.
    Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
    Discharged 8/2/16


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply, Sophieanne. I’m always worried about a job loss; however, my job is as secure as any other, I guess.

      I’m so determined to complete the 13 without any issues, but I do worry that I’m being too conservative. It’s obviously in my best interest to invest in retirement. But...still, I worry. You’re right that I can always stop contributions if I feel I need liquid cash.

      The scariest thing about a Chapter 13, to me, is the lack of a safety net.


      • #4
        I totally understand. Question - is your 401K with your work?
        Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
        Discharged 8/2/16


        • #5
          Yes, it is with my work. Even if I don’t contribute, my employer makes two contributions into my 401k as profit sharing/safe harbor non-elective contribution.

          The funds could stay or be rolled over if I leave. I can take a loan against the employee contributed portion of my 401k.


          • #6
            Hi again...i was just going to say..absolute worst case scenario (and others might not agree) can contribute and if necessary, you could take a loan from your 401K employer plan if something goes off the track. Employer plans have low interest rates and easy to get. Are you in a 100% payment plan? If so, it's just a matter of letting your attorney know if you had to do this (getting his/her ok to do so). We did once and it wasn't a problem. All we were told is, as long as your monthly payment to the trustee won't be impacted, not an issue. Just another thing that might might help.
            Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
            Discharged 8/2/16


            • #7
              Contribute to your 401k if you feel you can. If you have a secure job, stop worrying so much about losing it. Make sure you have accessible savings in case you lose your job because people do lose jobs unexpectedly, but don't cripple your future by worrying about something that you have no real reason to think will happen.
              LadyInTheRed is in the black!
              Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
              $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


              • #8
                How much can you keep in saving with a chapter 13? I know with a chapter 7 they take most of youR savings to pay the creditors.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by HelpFL View Post
                  How much can you keep in saving with a chapter 13? I know with a chapter 7 they take most of youR savings to pay the creditors.
                  You'll see the answer to that question in the other thread. But, a 401k is different. Your entire 401k is exempt. You can keep it in Chap 13 or Chap 7 and you don't have to pay the value to unsecured creditors in a Chap 13.
                  LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                  Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                  $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


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