Wednesday, May 04, 2011

401(k) Retirement Plan is a Misnomer

Have you ever noticed that when Wall Street tries to sell you something they will go to all lengths to make things sound good?

A typical spiel might go like this, "All you need to do to retire with comfort is use our Target Date fund. Your plan sponsor, acting as a fiduciary on your behalf, has chosen the best funds for you to utilize in your 401(k) retirement plan."

The way the message really should read is "We wined and dined your bosses. Now we get to collect management fees from you. Good luck with your retirement."

Have you tried finding a Target Date fund for the exact year you want to retire? In all likelihood, your retirement would need to coincide with a year that ends with a 0 or 5, nothing in between, please.

Or try asking your Target Date fund what your withdrawal rate in retirement should be. I am 99.9% certain you will not be getting an answer.

A 401(k) plan is nothing more than an investment account, not a road map to retirement. It does not analyze your individual financial situation and will not provide a customized retirement plan.

Investing Lesson: If you and your loved ones want a real retirement plan, do not rely on your company's 401(k) Retirement Plan or Wall Street's latest fad. Work with a fee only financial planner like WFG, a true fiduciary who truly puts You First.

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