Comments on: 401(k) plans aren’t just for retirement A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: takloo Fri, 20 Aug 2010 23:35:21 +0000 on a similar note… in Canada we can borrow money to contribute to RRSP (401k equivalent), get a tax refund and repay the loan. I would love to know how many people actually end up not paying the RRSP loan.

By: mutant_dog Fri, 20 Aug 2010 20:16:59 +0000 I have to quarrel with the sentence,”The number of the company’s plans which have ever had loans out against them is by definition substantially higher.” I imagine that, given the distressing times, the current number of 401(k) loans could dwarf historical norms; so that, even though I have to grant that the total number of any time series (that admits of no negative numbers) is by definition larger that any single data point in the series, I don’t grant that the assertion “substantially higher” is supported.

By: y2kurtus Fri, 20 Aug 2010 18:59:18 +0000 The 401k is an outstanding source of funds for people. It’s a loan that must be paid back… to yourself… with interest.

I took out a loan for the downpayment to buy my first house and I’m happily living there dispite being 20%.

That original loan from my 401k will be paid off by the end of this year and I am planning on taking out another loan at that point to fully fund my 2010 contribution to my self directed IRA. The result is that I’ll have a huge tax return that I will fund my 2011 IRA contribution.

401k participation should be mandatory for all workers at 10% of wages. The default investment should be a fund of actively managed risk assets. Use low cost funds vanguard style. Start the program off at 2% of wages and step it up by 2% each year until you hit the 10%. If workers want to put in more that’s fine of course but there should be a minimum.

The U.S. retirement deficit, (the difference between what boomers have ACTUALLY saved and what they NEEDED to save to live the lifestyle they currently have) dwarfs the national debt of the goverment.

I’m so proud of my company… at our bank all new employees are automatically enrolled in the 401k plan… they have to opt out rather than opt in. Every company shoud do that… there shouldn’t even be an option to opt out… it should just be mandatory. Otherwise your just damming the stupid to a life of poverty in reitrement.

By: petewarden Fri, 20 Aug 2010 15:19:03 +0000 I’ve been fascinated by the ‘behavior gap’ ever since I ran across the Dalbar study that talks about the difference in average investment returns, and the returns the typical investor actually pockets: -of-your-neighbors/

Before the meltdown the average 20 year investment return was 11.8%, but the average *investor* return was 4.5%. The difference comes from our investment behavior – we sell when stocks are low and buy when they’re high, or as in this case invest in long-term securities whilst underestimating the probability that we’ll need that money in the short-term.

Of course there’s someone on the other side of all those transactions, which does make me wonder if the whole financial industry requires small investors to behave like idiots to survive?