We're still working busily trying to "settle our new home" following last week's transition to the new SMI website. Hopefully everyone saw the Dyanamic Asset Allocation and Sector Rotation updates on Friday, and received the emails if you were signed up for those lists.
We'll be getting back into our rhythm of writing more detailed articles again as the week unfolds, but today I just wanted to point out a news item I saw last week. Paul Merriman pointed out that Boeing employees left a whopping $98 million on the table in potential 401(k) matching contributions last year (2013). Granted, Boeing has a lot of employees, but that's still a staggering amount of money. As Paul points out, roughly a third of Boeing's employees basically declined the full amount of pay the company said they were entitled to for the year.
In order to get the full match in Boeing's 401(k) plan, an employee has to contribute 8% of their base pay. It hasn't been so many years that I've forgotten what it's like trying to make ends meet on an entry-level type salary, so I'm sympathetic to the argument that some simply can't do without that money. But it wouldn't shock me in the least to find that a good number of those employees are shelling out for expensive cable TV or cell phone plans, among a long list of other "discretionary" expenses.
My point in writing this is definitely not to frustrate those who are already doing everything they can to keep expenses down so they can get on the saving/investing path. Rather, as we come out of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping frenzy and turn the corner toward Christmas, it's to perhaps remind someone that you're leaving the equivalent of an employer raise on the table by not hitting the full matching amount in your company retirement plan. If your employer walked in and offered you a 3% raise today, would you turn it down? You effectively are if you're eligible for a 3% match and just don't make the deposits.
Food for thought.