Tag Archives: money management

Retirement: Happy 40th Birthday 401(k)!


Do you have enough saved to retire?

For those who don’t know, as defined by NerdWallet, “a 401(k) is a savings and investing plan offered by employers that gives employees a tax break on money they set aside for retirement.”

Why is it called a 401(k)? The term refers to Section 401(k) of the tax code, initially created in 1978 to give those who earned a high wage a tax advantage. That evolved into what we have today: one of the most popular retirement savings account for workers in the United States.

This year, the 401(k) turns 40.

401(k) Stats

To commemorate its 40th birthday, let’s go over a few stats, information brought to you by The Motley Fool, published in the Society for Human Resource Management’s HR Magazine.

  • Average 401(k) balance: $96,288
  • Approximate account value for those age 65 and over: $200,000
  • Percentage of U.S. employees who work for an organization or company that provides a 401(k)-type plan: 79%
    • Percentage of these workers who choose to participate in a 401(k): 41%
  • Percentage of the overall U.S. workforce that is saving in a 401(k): 32%

Are you saving in a 401(k)?

What do those numbers tell us? That many U.S. workers could be saving in a 401(k), but aren’t.

If you aren’t saving for retirement yet, consider starting now. Retirement savings aren’t just for going on vacations or replacing your income source after you retire. A modest retirement account can pay for medical expenses, moving from one home to another, or simply paying for help with tasks you are unable or unwilling to do when you’re older.

You’re never too young or old to contribute into a 401(k). If you’re young and new to the workforce, dedicating even a small percentage of your income into that account each paycheck really adds up. And if you’re older, having some sort of retirement savings is still better than nothing. Essentially, if you’re working and receiving a steady paycheck, it’s worth it to invest in a 401(k).

And if your company offers matching funds and you aren’t contributing into a 401(k) , you’re losing out on free money! And everyone likes free money.

Still have questions about what to do with a 401(k) and how to start saving for retirement today? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Retirement.

How old is your 401(k)? How is it performing? Let us know in the comments below!


Millennial Monday: Millennials and Money Management

Millennial Monday LogoExpress Employment Professionals recently teamed up with the School of Media and Strategic Communications at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater, OK, to conduct research about Millennials and their attitudes toward the American Dream. Also known as “Gen Y,” Millennials were born between 1979 and 1995 and currently make up 30% of the population. As they enter the workforce and establish career paths, it’s important to understand the motives and desires behind this robust generation. To help you get to know “Gen Y,” Movin’ On Up is bringing you an eight-week series titled “Millennial Monday.”

In this week’s installment of “Millennial Monday,” Express and OSU students surveyed Millennials, the majority of whom are working full- or part-time, to paint a picture of the generation’s view of money management, charitable giving, and spending habits.

Money Management Preparedness
If you’re a Millennial who believes money management is an important part of your success, you’re not alone. According to the survey results, 84% of Millennials believe money management is “very important,” and an additional 10% believe it is “somewhat important.”

When it comes to money management, the overwhelming majority (62%) of Millennials revealed that they believe their parents or guardians prepared them for making important decisions. Only 12% of respondents believe they are unprepared to make important money management decisions.

To further explore the influence parents have on money management, Millennials were asked whether or not their spending style is similar to that of their parents’ spending style. The majority (72%) believe that their style is a direct reflection of their parents.

Spending Habits
Our survey also revealed that 47% of Millennials consider themselves impulse buyers, and 70% believe their money management style is a mixture of spending and saving. Of those surveyed, 87% reported having a savings account.

When asked what they spend the most money on, Millennials reported, in the following order:

  • Student loans
  • Other
  • Travel
  • Clothing
  • Entertainment
  • Food

Charitable Giving
According to the survey results, there are several factors that help Millennials decide to which charities and nonprofit organizations they will donate money. Those factors include the following key words:

  • Cause
  • Children
  • Local
  • Effect

When asked how likely they are to donate money to a charity or nonprofit organization in the next 12 months, 86% of respondents reported they are likely to do so. Of that 86%, 36% said they are “extremely likely” to donate money to a charity or nonprofit organization, 24% said they are “somewhat likely,” and 26% reported they are “moderately likely.” Only 3% of respondents said they are “not at all likely” to donate.

Although the overwhelming majority of those surveyed plan to donate money to organizations this year, they seem unsure about how their donations will help those organizations. In fact, 36% of respondents claimed they believe their monetary donations are only “moderately helpful” for charities and nonprofit organizations.


Do you agree with the survey results? Does money management play an important role in your career? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

Keep checking Movin’ On Up every Monday for more insight on this important generation.

Miss a week? Click the links below to check out previous topics in our series.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.