Thursday, January 04, 2007

401(k) Contributions: Anecdotal Evidence

Just back from lunch with a brigade of other assistants, where an informal poll was taken on 401(k) contributions. Three of the five eligible (I only just became eligible and am enrolling, but I'm not counting myself as one of the five for purposes of this anecdote) are contributing. These three are all women. The two who are eligible but not contributing are men, and have been at the company longer than all but one of the contributors.

I asked one why he wasn't contributing. His first response: "Because I'm stupid." His second, joined by Non-Contributor #2, was a bunch of sarcasm about not living past 30.

I can't really tell you what this means, if it means anything, but it is curious, as an anecdote. I don't mean to be judgy or moralistic. I don't think they're bad for not contributing; I don't even think they're stupid, really. I know at least one of them comes from a pretty wealthy family, and it's certainly possible that the other one does as well. I just wonder about why individual people make the choices they make about their money.

5 comments:

Flexo said...

"Judgy?" That's a perfectly cromulent word, English major!

English Major said...

For every "for whom" and correctly used semicolon, there is an equal and opposite "judgy," Flexo.

Ms. MiniDucky said...

I found "judgy" rather scrumptious, personally.

Anonymous said...

Is there a match? If there is, it is stupid not to contribute IMO.

English Major said...

There is, moom: dollar-for-dollar up to $1,500. That argument was brought up at lunch, especially given our comparatively meager compensation—why wouldn't you take all the money this company is willing to give you?—but didn't seem to hold much weight for the two non-contributors.