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retirement

Fund your 401(k) or IRA first?

Retirement » Fund Your 401(k) Or IRA First?

What are the costs?
What are the costs?

As is the case with most retail products, investment costs vary, depending on where you buy. Even the experts disagree as to which savings vehicle offers the best bang for your buck.

"A lot of 401(k)s are very expensive; there are a lot of hidden fees," says Bendix. "The IRAs should be significantly less expensive than investments in a 401(k)."

But Bogosian sees the group-buying power of 401(k)s and the management fees associated with some IRAs as a good reason to keep your money in a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored plan.

"Many IRA custodians offer a limited -- and expensive -- investment menu," says Bogosian. "They may also charge minimum account fees or trading fees. Most 401(k) plans have no such charges."

Price it out before you invest. And get a breakdown on how much of your money is going to the investment and how much is going to fees and management costs.

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