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Getting started.

Q I want to begin saving for retirement. I am 28 years old, so I am late. I recently became eligible to invest in my company's 401(k). My company does not contribute to the 401(k) and I only have four funds to choose from. I don't know if I should contribute to the 401(k), open an IRA, or both.

Tara Fulhgam BE Bulletin Board

A When we launched our Black Wealth Initiative in January 2000, we told our readers that the best time to start investing is now--whether you are a 20-something or have been a part of the workforce for more than 20 years. First, we encourage you to find a financial planner who can help you set goals. We strongly advocate that you pay yourself first. As we say in the BLACK ENTERPRISE Wealth Building Kit, which you can get by calling 877-WEALTHY or clicking on to, make it mandatory to put away a portion of your income for savings and investments--as much as 15% in addition to the money you invest in your company's 401(k).

We also believe that you should not rely on a company-sponsored plan as your sole investment vehicle--especially if your employer's plan is limited in its offerings. (Make sure to check out how the funds in the plan compare against a benchmark of their peers at In addition to investing in your company's 401(k), develop a comprehensive financial structure that includes investing in an IRA, developing a diversified investment portfolio, and maintaining an emergency fund.

--Derek T. Dingle

Mail your finance questions to Ask B.E., BLACK ENTERPRISE, 130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011, or send an e-mail to
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Title Annotation:retirement planning
Author:Dingle, Derek T.
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2001
Previous Article:New endeavor.
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