Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An Invitation and More Trash & Treasure

Yesterday the bosses formally invited me to enroll in a simple IRA (sort of a 401k, I think), of which I know nothing. The company will match up to 3% of what I choose to invest (?) if that's the correct term.  I meet with the "financial advisor" tomorrow to learn more. Financial stuff, like the stock market, have always befuddled me. I still believe the market is rigged in favor of the rich who manipulate the ups and downs with their enormous financial clout.  But, what do I know?

Never having such a thing in the past (being in a 30 year relationship can do that to you) I have so many questions; Is it right for someone my age?; how will it impact my take-home pay?; are there penalties for emergency withdrawals? While 3% doesn't sound like much, I wonder how much the deduction will deplete my already tight monthly cash flow.

Still, I feel they are looking out for my best interests and hope to garner some useful information at the meeting with the FA tomorrow morning.

In other news, I was able to empty 2 more boxes of trash and treasure.  Have another full box for the Thrift Store tomorrow, as well.

Another box contains condensed versions of major motion pictures on super 8 film with magnetic sound tracks. I no longer have the projector to view them - lost in the settlement - and the Elmo sound projector's ability to accept the larger reels was the cream of the crop back then.  There's about a dozen titles, but I have no idea if anyone would want them in this age of the DVD.  They're on 800' reels and in original cases.

 Anyone with thoughts or ideas, please share.  I would like to give them a good home with a collector who will enjoy them for years to come.

And so it goes.


  1. eBay or a local/regional film institute.

  2. A retirement plan is a good thing. Yes it's "invest". If you put in 3% of your pay they'll put in another 3%. It's free money, no brainer.

  3. In my second career (the last 20 years of my working life) at most of my positions I had an opportunity to invest in a 401K. At one job the employer matched up to 3%; at another, 1%, and at the last 0%. Unfortunately my longest time was at the last one. You are quite fortunate if the bosses have agreed to ante in up to 3%. But the gotcha may be your age and the current state of the market. Such programs benefit one best if they have time and a climate in which to grow. The good news may be that after age 62 you can begin to withdraw that money without the added penalty.

  4. A matching 401k plan is a GREAT DEAL! Your employers must think very much of you to make such an offer to you. It is given money. Do it.

    Now for the next step. Don't let anyone talk you into getting an annuity. At your age it just doesn't make sense. Do not pay attention to a financial advisor who urges you to invest in an annuity. They make a high commission in selling annuities. My advice (I worked in the investment advisory field for over 30 years so I do know what I'm talking about even though you didn't take my advice before when you received your share of the proceeds of the sale of your home) is to invest your 401k (should you take it) into treasury bills. Even though the interest rate is low (and probably will be for some time) at least you will get your principal back. Of course any investment advisor will advise you against taking such a step because they don't get any commission on that kind of investment.

    That's my advice. If you chose to ignore it again, don't come complaining to me about the stock market "stealing" your funds.

  5. Thanks for all the comments, guys. I am still kind of overwhelmed by all this.

    @Ron: I thought an Annuity was something totally different. You must have $$ to invest in one of those, right? This money comes directly out of my gross pay. In any event, the word was never uttered.

    @Peter: Thanks for the idea of donating to a local film archive. I'll check into it.


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