Personal Finance News

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jo Ann Brown - The Author

I worked in Corporate America for 10 years. When first hired, I endured a grueling two-week on the job training course. The instructor gave explicit instructions on how to perform the job. I was drilled for hours, day in and day out. One morning, I was introduced to someone from the payroll department who gave a 15-minute presentation about the company’s 401(k) plan. I listened intensely and gathered several details only to learn that I could not join. As I repeated the phrase through my head, “You cannot join now,” I wondered why someone would even mention something I couldn’t participate in. I walked out of training, job ready, and never thought about the 15-minute 401(k) presentation again.

The casual presentation of such an important subject along with being told I had to wait one year to participate, sent a subliminal message insinuating the 401(k) plan was not important. I have found such messages can cause irreparable damage, especially to young employees. In my experience, the average young adult leaves training and never thinks about a retirement plan. Instead, they focus on their own apartment, or family, and eventually find themselves in debt and financially strapped. Once financial hardship strikes, they conclude it easier to say, how they cannot afford to save year after year.

Many young people enter a profession with the mistaken belief that the job will provide a pension for them, the same as it was provided for their forefathers. Young people tend to ignore the fact that this is their responsibility. Generally, companies do not emphasize strongly enough that once the 401(k) plan has been implemented, retirement financial planning is solely the employee’s responsibility. One may conclude the subtle introduction during training is not good enough.

Since investing is not a one size fit all proposition, people establish their savings plans and objectives using different criteria.


Only 68 percent of working Americans are saving for retirement.

The remaining 32 percent are not doing anything.

Of the 68 percent saving for retirement, only 45 percent have $25,000 saved.

The remaining 23 percent may be doing a better job of investing.

Conclusion: 77 percent of the American people need help.

Saving is the first step in a financial plan and there are several ways you can save money.

Everyone should have enough cash on hand to see them through a three to six month hardship. A saving account can be a great place to build and keep your emergency fund. What constitutes an emergency?

· Unemployment – commonly caused by dismissal/getting fired, job relocation, outsourcing, and lay offs.

· Car repair if you only have one car.

Getting your only car running again is an emergency, replacing a broken television is not.

Your initial savings account should be liquid, meaning you can get your money out at any time. Your initial savings account should also be at a low risk financial institution. The first rule of careful investing: Don’t lose money.

You are on the wrong side of the fence if you have not committed yourself to saving. You are not saving money when you put money in the savings account and get it before your next pay check. Learn how to change your spending habits. After all being broke is no joke.

You have bought into the idea of working until you are 70 without realizing it. Was this a part of your master plan when your started working? There are a million ways to procrastinate. You have been using them long enough.

Just start! Do something! Action!

Read each article, and find some way of saving money that you never thought of. Some articles give tips to teach your children good spending habits and other articles help you change bad spending habits.

Find Money To Save - Articles:

Everyone knows they should be saving money, but life and circumstances doesn't always allow that to happen. There's a reason that most people have a problem with saving money. You can't continue doing the same thing and expect different results. Together, we'll work on changing our bad spending habits and we'll learn good spending habits.

Money Management Tips - Blogs and Websites:

Investing - Articles:

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