Reader participation


If you are like me, over the holidays, you have more time to read blogs than usual. I’ve heard as much as I care to from a few folks that don’t know how to argue civilly. But I thought it would be fun to do a couple readers participation posts and keep it simple. So I am going to get it started here. I’ll post my responses in comments.


Since the financial downturn, have you looked at your 401(k)?

Comments (12)

  1. HeatherLeigh says:

    Call me a pragmatists, but I have not looked at my 401(k). I’m going to be a good girl, ride this thing out and not stress myself out needlessly.

  2. Bill Wagner says:

    I always look every month.  I also check year-to-year performance. I don’t sweat it though, it’s not not money I need for at leats 15 years.

    This year, business took a large paper loss (buying lots of equipment and software because of growth) so major deductions.  That, combined with a seriously down market means I may be rolling 401(k) into a Roth IRA and taking the tax hit in a down year.

  3. Joe Enos says:

    I look at least once a week – it’s pretty depressing, watching the value go lower and lower and lower and lower…I used to actually have a total net worth of a few bucks, but that went away pretty quickly.

    But since I’m still 30 years away from the minimum withdrawal date, I’m reasonably confident that the market will pick up before then.

  4. goldhoarder says:

    I closed my 401K in 2001 after the tech stock stock crash. I have done nothing but buy gold and silver bullion for my retirement since. It is the smartest thing I ever did. Wall street doesn’t control my money. The government doesn’t know where my money is. I’m protected against law suits. Why I didn’t see that sooner I’ll never know. Of course I am considered "insane". But good luck depending on politicians for your retirement. LMAO. Why am I here? Oh…I think I know Heather from years ago…where did you grow up Heather?

  5. Kevin Eshbach says:

    I only look when I get the quarterly statement in the mail.

  6. Brian Reese says:

    I try not to look more than once a month, just to keep payroll honest. I noticed well before the down turn, that somewhere along the way I screwed up. It just happened that at the time of the down turn I made some broad changes to the way I deal with the retirement plan.

  7. Hayli says:

    Unfortunately, yes. I rolled mine into an IRA in late ’06 and it’s at about half its original value. =(

  8. HeatherLeigh says:

    Bill Wagner – it’s good that you can put it out of your mind and not obsess. Not many people could do that.

    Joe Enos – yeah, it’s gotta pick up. Always has.

    goldhoarder – right now, it doesn’t sound so insane 😉

    Kevin – I haven’t gotten a quarterly statement in a while. I may leave the envelope sealed!

    Brian Reese – best thing I did a while back was diversify. I’m sure a bunch of people only have their 401(k) in one stock.

  9. Brian Reese says:

    Being disversified is good. My 403b, b/c I’m in a non-profit sector, only has mutual funds and a money market option. From 2006 when I started to say, June 2008, I was down substantially. Apparently, the mutual fund options I chose where not that good.

    Right now, I’m making the matching contribution as that’s a "free" way to double the return. I’m also hoping that I can make my initial investment back, even if it takes 20 years. I have plenty of time to at least break even.

    Once I get some other things in life taken care of, I’m going to re-evaluate the options I have. I may decide I’m better off making the matching contribution and then going with an IRA so I have some better choices.  I prefer mutual funds over stocks, but you still have to keep it diversified to mitigate some of the risk. Ultimately, I’d like to add some real estate to the mix but, that’s much further down the road.

  10. Donna says:

    Sure, I check the values of my retirement accounts…and although I’m not happy about the percentage losses, I’m not fretting too much because I won’t need the money for many years.  The losses are only on paper (at least I try to remind myself that.)  I’m optimistic that it will be back up by the time I need it!

  11. Bad_Brad says:

    I check up on my family’s net worth once per quarter – high level stuff in a spreadsheet, just to make sure we are generally headed in the right direction for the long-term.

    And let me just say … my 401k is now 301k …

  12. Duncan says:

    I don’t check it, but I have increased my contribution. I’m buying more which will be worth more when we come out of this.  I’ve increase my stock purchases too since we are 75% down on our high. Good times if you do not place on retiring in the next 5 years.

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