November 13, 2008


Over the 5+ years I was with my last company, I held the unusual distinction of being the ONLY employee not to participate in the company's 401k plan. Having taken part in a previous 401k, which eventually folded and sent me a check for $3,500, which I put into a Roth IRA, I just wasn't all that jazzed about the whole 401k thing.

Yeah, I understood that the company would "match" my contribution and all that, but there was just something about the whole 401k thing I just didn't trust. It's a control thing, I think. I like having my money right where I can see it and put it just where I please. For my part, in lieu of a 401k, I opted to put away money each year, and put it towards more Roth IRAs come tax time.

You can question the wisdom of this approach to retirement saving, and God knows I got enough phone calls over the years from the company 401k rep practically begging me to sign on to the 401k plan; to her, I was no doubt the one black spot on an otherwise enterprise-wide enrollment gold star. I actually started to think of my 401k holdout as a sort of badge of pride. Mostly though, I didn't want to enroll because doing so would, in my mind, have been a kind of capitulation to the idea that I was going to be working for the company for a long, looooooooongggggg time, and that just didn't set too well with me.

Now, as the stock market plunges and takes all sorts of 401k savings with it, and my IRAs stay nice and locked into their stable interest percentages, I'm feeling all nice and relieved. All because I was basically just a stubborn ass.

So I guess the lesson is: be a stubborn ass.

Posted by Ryan at November 13, 2008 06:14 AM | TrackBack

You know, you can select similar investments for a 401K as you could in an ordinary IRA.

Not a big issue if your employer doesn't match it, but if they do, you can be crotchety and get ahead with a 401K, too.

Posted by: Bike Bubba at November 14, 2008 04:39 PM
StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!