Earlier this week, my office sponsored a a seminar on retirement. I went, mainly to see what the person would say and what advice they were trying to impart. I really wasnt sure about the quality of the talk before I went, but I came back happy. The guy who was talking was very knowledgeable and went over far more than retirement. The talk covered finances, budgeting, goals and everything. My only complaint was that the length of the talk was far too short – there was way too much information to impart in a way that I thought would stick with people in just an hour.
It also taught me that despite all that I’ve learned, I’ve still got plenty of room for improvement. While he was talking, he mentioned the state deferred compensation plan and how everyone should start one. When I was first hired, I remember taking some information about this, with some words to the HR person that i’d “read it and get back with her”. I had good intentions of reading the packet and making a decision, but I think the only thing I ended up doing with it was filing it away and completely forgetting about the program.
My excuse to myself was that I was creating a roth IRA at the time, and I didnt have a need for this as well because I figured that the products were similar enough that I didnt need two. As I listened though, I realized that I may not have had the best thoughts on the issue. For one thing, there is a small match if you sign up (only $20/mo) that I was giving up. At this point, this has cost me over a thousand dollars in free money! It’s cost me 1,080 to be exact, and the number keeps going up every month!
As I sat there yesterday and listend, I vowed to sign up for the benefits, and yet even as I write this, I’m mentally making excuses as to why I cant sign up this month (or next month). Unfortunately, the timing isnt right now (as I’m telling myself). Here’s the thing though, the timing’s never going to be perfect and I keep leaving money on the table, which I need to stop doing. So by the end of the year, I’m going to read through the booklet, look at the investment options and open something up.
Just goes to show you that even PF Bloggers make mistakes, but the important thing is that you fix the problem. I’ve got a lot of time until I retire, but that’s still no excuse for leaving more than a thousand bucks on the table!
readers: when was the last time you left money on the table? How much, and why?