Continuing where I left off reviewing this book, chapter 3 covers planning for retirement, and the five biggest mistakes people make with their 401(k) plans. Since I own a small company, we currently have no 401(k), but we do offer a SIMPLE IRA for our officers, and most of these points hold true for me as well. They are:
- Buying the employer’s stock
- Investing in stable-value funds
- Accepting the default offerings in their company’s 401(k)
- Cashing out their 401(k)s when switching employers
- Not paying attention to where the money is going (which seems to me to be the same as point #3)
He then covers a few practical tips to make the most out of your 401(k), such as automatically contributing to it each month, instead of waiting ’til year end. I’m guilty of not doing this, but luckily cash flow isn’t an issue right now, so I can still contribute. Cramer also advises that you contribute the maximum amount to your 401(k) that your employer will match. After that, you want a separate, self-managed IRA, which gives you more flexibility than your employer’s plan.
So far, I’m liking the advice I’m getting from the book. Check back in thirty years to see how it worked out.