Ignoring Free Retirement Money - NBC 7 San Diego

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Ignoring Free Retirement Money

Many are skipping matching contributions

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A high number of employees are not taking advantage of company savings programs, like a 401K. NBC 7's Consumer Bob reports. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017)

    Certified Financial Planner Mary Beth Storjohann is hardcore when it comes to saving for retirement.

    "There is no excuse for not contributing to your retirement," says Storjohann, the founder of Workable Wealth.

    She understands how people can feel buried under credit and student debt but she says you still need to make some sort of contribution to a retirement account.

    "Your future self needs you to start saving today."

    According to a working draft published in the Washington Post, two-thirds of Americans aren't using their company retirement savings plans.  The numbers come from a review of census information.  It says that nearly 80 percent of Americans work for employers that offer retirement programs, whether 401(k) or 403(b), but only 32 percent of workers sign up for the accounts.

    Storjohann says that needs to change.

    "If you're looking at your employee sponsored 401(k) plan or retirement plan and they offer a match and you are not contributing to the plan, you are leaving free money on the table."

    The financial planner says people she works with often say they'll contribute to a plan when they meet other financial obligations but she says that could be too late.

    "Are they going to be depending on their children to take care of them?  Do they understand that there aren't loans available for retirement?  It makes me worried about these people actually thinking about the long term."

    Storjohann says your future self needs you to start saving today.  She says that can be at whatever amount you can afford, but the most important thing is to start saving now.

    "If you don't take care of yourself, who will take care of you?" said Storjohann.