December 17, 2009

401(K)ill Plan

Research proves that our beloved 401(K) cannot save us in retirement.  In fact, it was never meant to be the primary retirement vehicle - but instead a way for top level CEOs to shield some of their income from taxes, and to be a supplement retirement plan for the rich.  Forget Healthcare Reform...we need Retirement Reform.  But a reform in the form of financial education that won't raise taxes in the long run.  (Side Note:  Healthcare reform is bound to raise taxes - the same way Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security does - it is a government plan, after all.) Yet nowadays, the average employee retires with under $200,000 in their 401(K)ill plan.

Corporations preach to us that this 401(K)ill plan is the way to go (because it cuts their benefit costs in half by passing our retirement responsibility on to us and they no longer have to fund the old pension plans - so of course they want us to invest in it.)  And it is evident how wrong these corporations are about 401(K)ill plans when you see people in their "golden years" forced to work at Wal-mart as a greeter, sweeping floors at Mcdonalds, or bagging groceries at Publix because they lost their retirement once the market crashed or some company filed for bankruptcy.

As I write this - I wonder if people actually understand the severity of this issue enough to actually do something proactive to change their reality of possibly never retiring.   The solution is to find ways to increase our income and decrease our debts during our working years -- and save more in our retirement plans than the 6% with company matching.  If you're going to participate in the 401(K)ill plan then make sure you're saving at 12% - 15% with whatever the company matches.   I call this plan a 401(K)ill plan because it kills your dreams, and it can kill your retirement.

Every company provided 401(K)ill plan charges monthly "maintenance" fees that kills our overall investment gains... this kill plan is maintained by some benefit sponsor company like Fidelity, Vanguard, or Charles Schwab, etc.  And these benefit sponsor companies take their fees and expenses out of our 401(K)ill plan for their operations.  At my company, we employees are charged $1,000 monthly for maintenance of our 401(K)ill plan - may not seem like a lot of money to most people - but it is a ton of money considering we had to pay maintenance fees even though our overall account balance dropped 25% during this economic crises.

I'm getting out - forget corporate lies and dress codes.  I hate having to schedule my vacation time around holidays and accumulating a billion sick hours I never use.  Why should I leave my fate up to corporate insecurity?  Entrepreneurship is going to be my solution...My goal is to be self sufficient.  Now I just have to figure out a way to get government spending under control so they won't tax my aspirations to death bailing out every defunct company or cause they deem "too big to fail".

BE FREE