In case you haven’t heard, 401(k) Day comes right after Labor Day – just like retirement comes after work. It’s a nationwide celebration of employer- sponsored retirement plans, sponsored by the PSCA and joined by a diverse slate of organizations from American Express Financial (soon to be Ameriprise) to Charles Schwab, and of course GuidedChoice.
Captain 401(k) is the hero of the day. He’s a fearless, muscular individual in a red suit and cape, who’s dedicated to “overcoming the forces of evil that prevent us all from reaching a more comfortable retirement,” including procrastination, low savings rates, and poor asset allocation. On a more practical note, he’s also distributing lots of participant education materials. Watch for him over the skies of Metropolis. Or Gotham. Or wherever...
Super-powers to the people!
Meanwhile, back on the ground, we’re a little worried about what happens after September 6. During the rest of the year there won’t always be a masked hero around to help participants with retirement planning and investing. To (dare I say it), empower them, we humbly suggest something even more amazing: giving participants their own super powers.
Retirement is not for wimps! Here’s a short list of what an average participant might need to keep ahead of the Forces of Evil:
- X-Ray Vision: To see where you’re going, and to pick a safe path to retirement
- Strength: To set an aggressive savings rate and stick to it
- Stretch: To make your retirement dollars grow through investment and compounding
- Morph: To adapt to changing needs and life events as you get closer to retirement
- Fire: To light a match under your savings rate and investment plan
- Telepathy: To read the minds of the investment experts
- Telekinesis: To adjust your portfolio effortlessly, without even touching it
- Fly: Without all the rest, you’ll need this to get from here to retirement
- Secret Decoder Ring: Not necessary, but handy for trying to read fund prospectuses and plan documents
Every superhero seems to have a secret weakness. Without the full package, employees are vulnerable, too. Education is only effective up to a point. Lifestyle or lifecycle funds are much better, but must include all plan assets to work correctly. And the real kryptonite is always low savings rates, which can make even the best plan weak in the knees.
To the future, and beyond!
Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to get professional, personalized investment advice built into your retirement plan – plus full managed-account services on demand. Back on Planet Krypton I’m sure everyone had this kind of plan. But here on Earth, there’s only one way to get these powers: from a far-sighted employer and an advanced service provider as GuidedChoice.
Looking into the future, we hope that everyone had the benefit of super-powered retirement savings. There are some hopeful signs, such as upcoming DOL regulations favoring automatic enrollment (see “in the news”). But until then, we’re not going to just sit by the Batphone, or depend too much on Captain 401 (k). We’re going to keep on working to give plan participants more tools than you can fit in a Utility Belt – because retirement is too important to wait for a guy in a cape!