Retirement plans, like the best laid plans of mice and men, often go astray (my apologies to Steinbeck). Okay, I admit it; when I was in my twenties, I thought I’d be retired by now. However, as mentioned above, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you thought they would.
When I started working, major companies still had a retirement plan (pension) for their employees, however, many companies had started using 401k plans in lieu of the company paid retirement. That is now more the norm than the exception. The good part about a 401k plan is that the company will match a percentage of the employee’s contribution, in some cases as much as 100% of the first 6% of salary saved. And, the money is not taxable until such time as you withdraw money from the plan. It was good stuff while the economy was rolling along, but as you know, about 3 years ago things started heading downward. Many subsequently saw their 401k retirement accounts cut by as much as 40%, which certainly puts a damper on any retirement plans.
So I started wondering; what would I do differently? Well, first and foremost, I would make sure I started saving in a 401k plan as early as possible. Then I would ensure my plan was diversified (as all the experts recommended but some, including myself, didn’t listen). What else? Well, here’s a link to some pretty good advice for Generation X and Generation Y.
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