Comment: I am in education...

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I am in education...

No 401K for me. But we have 403b, which is similar, though I think a 403b is for non-profit companies. Similar provisions. I have had the account for about 25 years and stopped contributing about 5 years ago. Still has a nice chunk of change in there.

At the moment I have it invested in "Small Cap" and "Mid Cap" categories inside the fund, with a 50/50 distribution ratio.

Personally, I wish the whole thing could be more self directed, and have more invetstment options. I tried to switch out 5 years ago to a different fund manager, who had funds that were more commodity based (like Gold and Silver) but that transfer was rejected by the receiving company who didn't want to run up against an IRS time limit on the transfer... to my loss.

In 2008 I pulled all my assets to cash... except what was in the 403b (sorta forgot: outa sight... outa mind). All my personally
managed assets were protected from the "crash".

I watched as this account was cut in half. To be fair it has recovered and slightly grown in that time, but all that means is that the 5+ year return is FLAT!

I agree with those that pointed out that the contributions seem negligible, as they are pre-tax. That seemed advantageous. The point of the vehicles is LONG TERM and tax DEFERRED growth, not tax free.

I also have TAX Free Municipal bonds, which pay me regular amounts of cash, completely tax free... and would love to convert the 403b into some of those, and just start getting the payments now, since I am not contributing.

All in all, I am not really opposed to the idea of "easy" investments for busy people. But as I awoke to the notions of Austrian economics... I began to see these vehicles differently.
I don't think the benefit is really for the individual, but for the financial industry. A way to funnel regular batches of monies into the black hole. And despite the vast amounts of $$$ headed their way every month... we paid to bail them out, too!

For those that will not save and plan for their own future, I suppose these plans do at least hold some value and do carry your
funds into the future with minimal losses... in the long run. Problem is, I too see dark clouds looming, and think that a RAID of these assets will be undertaken. I am meeting with my plan administrator on the 17th!