Time for another post from our little Compensation Geek, Meghann Bedell:

Are you ready for your retirement, Millennial buddy? Yes, I know you’re 20-something years old, but bear with me – 401(k), 403(b), Ira Roth, IRA do you know the difference? What does your company offer? Do you even know?

Are you making the mistake of thinking who the hell cares about retirement – I’ve got 30 years to save.

Let me say this loud and clear – it’s never too early to start saving. For the more stubborn folks, I repeat, NEVER TOO EARLY!

Millennials (and everyone else) remember the unprecedented collapse of the economy in 2008/2009.  I personally know some people who lost everything (and if I know someone I know that most of you know someone too)!

This all happened when my class was graduating college…what a great starting point for us! “Congrats on all of your hard work, but….” – now it’s time to compete with people that have 10+ years of experience in a job with a company that may or may not be around in the next five years.  Oh, and remember what we were telling you about the “Baby Boomers” moving out of the workplace?  Well that’s off the table, too, because the majority of them just lost all of their savings, and they will be in the workplace for another 15 years. Good luck!

If you were fortunate enough to find a job at that point then I say hold on to it for dear life and don’t let go – but now five years later the economic situation has stabilized a bit (not recovered, mind you), and more people are getting permanent positions.  Now you are asking, what’s the moral of this long-winded terribly boring story?

It’s important to save what you can now because it’s not a guarantee that the option will always be there. Not tomorrow, not next pay period, not next year…. Now!

Most employers put a freeze on matching a portion of what their employee’s contribute to retirement plans when the economy went south, but now they have lifted that freeze and are offering you free money. All you have to do is be smart enough to take it.

It doesn’t take 50%, 25% or even 10% of your pay – Contributing as little as 3% of your pay will make a difference over the course of a year.

More good news – if your company offers you a retirement plan then I bet you they offer payroll deduction for your contribution – that means the contribution comes out on a pretax basis and that in turn lowers your taxable income – a win-win for you!


Don’t let articles like this be right.  Don’t let a false belief that you will live forever, or the thought that “the recession is over” prevent you from saving for your future now.