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How Much Can I Contribute to Both My 401(k) and 403(b)?

Question: I contribute to a 401(k) and a 403(b). How do I calculate the maximum limit I’m allowed to contribute? Is it per account or per individual? My 401(k) contribution could also be made to a Roth account within the plan.

– Lisa Simmons, Lincoln, Neb.

Answer: It’s nice to have options. But according to the IRS, the limit is per individual. For 2012, if you’re under 50, you can contribute no more than $17,000 combined to your employer savings plans. (It was $16,500 last year.) The fact that your plan includes a Roth account doesn’t change the limit—which, incidentally, pertains only to your contributions, not to your employers’. That said, your savings may be more valuable in a Roth account, says Jean Fullerton, a partner at WJM Financial in Bedford, N.H. Unlike with a regular 401(k), she says, you’ll likely owe no taxes on Roth withdrawals in retirement.

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    • I have an option of 401k and ROTH 401k at work. Can i cntirtbuoe to both? is so is the combined limit for both $17k or is it $17k each? Also, if I cntirtbuoe to 401k ROTH what is the limit I can cntirtbuoe to ROTH IRA? Is it still $5k in addition to the $17k 401k limit?

    • Yes your pension sluohd be on a 1099-R ask your former employer what they are doing putting it on a 1099-misc.And yes, rental income must be reported. You use a schedule E for that.

    • A few years back, I started manikg charitable donations in the names of some of my loved ones rather than buying them something they didn’t really want or need anyway. It’s better for all involved, not to mention the environment. It’s not very good for the economy, though, but then I’m not really an economic force to begin with.I just keep telling people not to buy me anything. If they must spend money on me, give it to someone trying to cure cancer or feed the homeless. I just don’t need any more sweaters.

    • I would rate it slightly hihger. The same concerns you two mentioned did come up for me, but I’ve looked at it in the context that Iron Man 2, and to some extent both Iron Man and Incredible Hulk, as part of a much larger storyline which is the Avengers. This is why I had no problems whatsoever with all the references to the Avengers Initiative and appearances of SHIELD. I do think that Marvel doing it this way will compromise certain storytelling aspects of the individual films moving forward, but again when put together I think it’ll make much more sense. I actually think that Marvel is doing something riskier than the other studios in that they’re willing to pump in so much money into world-building without it’s two biggest IP back in house (Spider-Man and the X-Men characters). The fight in the middle of the film did seem tacked on and could’ve been left out or, at the very least, given more build-up (such as how did Rhodey become an expert on the Mark II suit). But I like how it foreshadows and hints at Tony Stark/Iron Man story-arc “Demon in a Bottle”. I also like how it pretty much moves Tony Stark away from the goodie-two-shoes he was becoming in the first film and moving back towards the self-centered, douchebag superhero character he really is. In the Marvel Universe Stark has always been the black hat when it came to the top characters. If they continue to make Stark less likable then it would make him the perfect polar opposite to Steve Rogers/Captain America which would make for a very interesting Avengers subplot. That alone may be part of the clue as to why Joss Whedon was picked to direct Avengers and also brought in to help doctor the scripts for Captain America and any future Marvel titles. Which tells me that every Marvel flick, even Iron Man 3, will probably have Whedon as co-writer (I thought Justin Theroux’s work was average most of the time and above average in certain areas).

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