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Old 02-13-2014, 02:25 PM   #3611
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I did think seriously about it before buying mine. Parts alone to build exactly what I wanted (high quality too, mind you) would have only run me around $1K. I considered this quite the deal because of what I was wanting. But the other tools would have added to the cost, and then there's the time and labor, and the simple fact that I shopped out high end stuff... so if I screwed up (very likely) I'd have to buy replacements.

In the end, I have around $800 invested in a gun that started out at $640, and I'm happy as hell with it. I'm looking at investing a little more in it for bling.

But the learning experience, as you seem to already recognize, could very well be priceless.

Oh, edit to add, I'm pretty sure I got the Brownell's catalog for free. Not too sure though. If it wasn't free, it was cheap.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:34 PM   #3612
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Here's a dumb question, can someone give me a crash course on how a 401k works?
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:43 PM   #3613
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In my experience, you pay into it and the company matches a percentage. Then after 6 years or so the company goes under and you lose all the money. I'll never pay into another.

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Old 02-19-2014, 07:06 PM   #3614
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Actually a 401k program is a self-directed retirement savings program, what is known these days as a "defined contribution retirement program". As an employee of a company that offers a 401k plan, you choose the percentage of your paycheck that you want to contribute to your retirement account. Often the company will match your contribution with a set %, up to a certain level. You will be able to deduct the amount of 401k contribution from your taxable income on your fed taxes and on some state taxes, depending on your state of residence and the state in which the checks were issued.

The 401k plan will have a menu of investments available, usually stocks, stock funds' bond funds, and money market funds, offered through an investment company (Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, The Hartford, etc.). You choose the % of your regular contribution that you want to invest in any available vehicle (stock, fund,etc.)

You build up your retirement account over time, investing in regular intervals. The younger you start and the more you contribute, the better your chance of reaching your investment goals.

You cannot withdraw funds without a 10% federal penalty until you reach age 59 1/2 and you must begin take regular withdrawals at age 70.

There are some things to be aware of, the owner/CEO of the company can take funds from the 401k plan inorder to invest them back into the company. This is rarely done but is legal. When you leave the company, "roll" your account into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), so that no one but you and Uncle Sam can access the account.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:45 PM   #3615
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In my experience, you pay into it and the company matches a percentage. Then after 6 years or so the company goes under and you lose all the money. I'll never pay into another.

better judged by twelve than carried by six.
I can second that. It happened to me. The 401K was in company stock. The company went belly up and the stock went from $60 per share to ZERO.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:04 PM   #3616
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^That is something to watch out for.^

Do not invest your retirement funds in the stock of the company you work for, unless you have no choice. If you can move it out of your employer's stock after a certain amount of time do it as soon as possible.

If you do not have options other than your company's stock to invest your 401k money into, open an IRA with a reputable company like Fidelity, e*trade, t. Rowe Price, etc., and invest regularly.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:15 PM   #3617
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I like diversity in my stocks and 401k.
Some earn fast, some earn slow, but overall I haven't done too bad on the loss area.

In other words, don't put it all your eggs in one basket.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:46 PM   #3618
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^That is something to watch out for.^

Do not invest your retirement funds in the stock of the company you work for, unless you have no choice. If you can move it out of your employer's stock after a certain amount of time do it as soon as possible.

If you do not have options other than your company's stock to invest your 401k money into, open an IRA with a reputable company like Fidelity, e*trade, t. Rowe Price, etc., and invest regularly.
Exactly this. My 401(k) is very diversified and has done quite well for me over the years.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:25 PM   #3619
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Originally Posted by Cinderocka1989 View Post
Here's a dumb question, can someone give me a crash course on how a 401k works?
Nothing "dumb" about that question. Guarantee you even these people here who have a ton of experience with it don't even know ALL about how it works, not exactly. Hope they gave you the info you need though.

Oh, my experience has mirrored MountainMan's perfectly though.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:25 PM   #3620
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I'm only 25 and have had a 401k for awhile I put it in a vanguard plan that has ny retirement year ie vanguard 2055 and as time gets closer to that year my plan goes from risky(high yield high risk) to a safe plan (low risk). Seems to be.doing good for me actually borrowjng from it to buy my house next week.
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