Even if you’re just starting your first
real job—actually, especially if you’re just starting your first real job—it’s time to start thinking about retiring. That’s
not a comment on how motivated—or unmotivated—you are, or a suggestion that you should wish your life away. It’s just reality. That’s because you, like many people, will be responsible for supporting your- self during the 30 or 40 years you can expect to live after you retire. To do that, you need a source of income that will stretch further than the safety net of Social Security and be more reliable than winning the lottery. Some—but increasingly few— employers offer traditional pensions, which pay you retirement income based on your final salary and time on the job. Others contribute to a cash balance, profit sharing, or other plan on your behalf. But most employers offer you, instead, the opportunity to participate in a tax-advantaged salary reduction plan, such as a 401(k). 401(k) plans are the most common, and best known, employer sponsored salary reduction plans. But they’re not the only ones. If you work for a not-for-profit organization such as a school
or college, a hospital, a cultural institution, or a charitable organization, your employer may offer   Read more…