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You Are Responsible For Your Retirement

There’s an article over at Yahoo Finance, in their retirement section [3] (if you aren’t looking at it today, June 27th, you probably won’t see it on the front page anymore), titled “The High-Stakes Battle Over Automatic 401(k) Picks.” The little blurb underneath reads:

Legislation stalled over what investments should be included in automatic-enrollment plans is causing millions to lose out on retirement savings. What forces are driving the dispute?

If you read that strictly as its written, it sounds like Congress is causing innocent Americans to lose millions of dollars because of their deadlock on what should be the automatic pick in auto-enrollment 401ks. It says that because that’s eye-catching and it’ll lead to a click from the reader, but ultimately it’s not Congress’ fault, it’s the employee who is losing out on retirement savings’ fault. If everyone was clued in enough to enroll in their employer sponsored 401k plan, Congress wouldn’t have to waste time on the issue, there are plenty of other issues to waste time on.

You are responsible for everything that happens to you, including your retirement savings, whether you like it or not. The moment you think that you aren’t responsible for your own life you can just pack it up and call it a day.

Enroll in your 401k, put it in something intelligent (warning: you might have to read something), and ask your legislative representative to do something useful like clean up the environment.