How to Maximize Your 401K and Investments

What Our Mothers Taught Us About Money

As I reflect on the time I was teenager, I remember the constant reminders my mother gave to me regarding money and how to work with it.

Quite simply, there were none.

She never spoke about the use of funds, about the money our family had, about the way to save or invest money. That was because she was never taught how to do that.

She learned from watching her mother pay the household bills, money was out as soon as it was in. Rarely was there anything left when there was one breadwinner and six mouths to feed. Sometimes there was not enough money to make it from paycheck to paycheck.

Saving and investing was a luxury in her world, not something ever spoken about. The opportunity to do it just didn’t exist.

Yet my generation is the first to have to consider investing in a 401k plan, of having transportable retirement plans, and the chance to qualify without a husband for car loans, mortgages, and other types of personal financing.

And how are we supposed to know what to do with all this if no one taught us?

Therein lies the conundrum.

Most of us would rather spend some time watching QVC, or finding a dress for the next gala, or simply baking a great apple pie than sit down with the instructions on how to select the right investments for our 401k plan. And so we opt for the easiest way out: we figure out what the portfolio is closest to the year we turn 65 and put all our money in it.

That is not a bad way to go. But not the best way, either.

If you are having some questions about what your 401k plan investments are doing, please check in with us.

And remember to pass that knowledge to your daughter(s) (and sons?).


Photo Credit: I’m younger than that now via Compfight cc

1 Comment

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  1. William R. Haight 8 years ago

    I wondering, lately, if there will be enough left to take care of Beverly. I’ve noticed that when the Dow Jones goes down 300+ points my 401q goes down also but when it goes up 300+ my 401 doesn’t. It seems to stabilize there until the next drop.


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