I didn't know anything about stocks or bonds or 401K until I started at my current job as phone customer service. I was offered a 401k savings account when I worked at my previous job, but I made so little money as a supervisor for 6 years I just couldn't spare to skim any of my wages to invest in my future.
When I began working at my current company seven years ago I filled out the application because I was automatically eligible for a 401k and was vested upon hire. That means automatically I earned a percentage of the dividends that the money earns. What's more, the company matches the first 3% of your investment by 100%, so dollar for dollar who would not be smart enough to invest? I have the option of raising my investment every year incrementally automatically. However, the next 2% that I invest, the company only matches 50% of every dollar. So, every dollar is matched at fifty cents. Since I was vested from hire date, that's just become money in my pocket that I take with me even if I quit.
I started my current job making $4.00 more an hour than I made working as a supervisor for six years. I could afford to invest.
It is 7 years now and I'm slowly building up a nice little fund to take away once I retire or quit this job and move on. It's an awesome feeling knowing that I can accomplish this.
I have not invested more than the 5% that work matches some of. Due to my age, I could invest a substantial amount more. I still don't make enough money to feel comfortable bumping that up over and above what the company matches. Maybe someday I will!
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