Kevin Kautzmann, CFP® Quoted in TimeOut New York

Posted on January 17, 2008

Five out of five financial planners think you should have one, and 70 million Americans do. This clock-puncher says they’re all wrong. By Ashlea Halpern

Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

So here I am, 26 years old, and I haven’t saved a penny for retirement. Like many folks my age, I have a litany of excuses for opting out of my company’s 401k, school loans, credit-card debt, high rent, low pay and a minor addiction to eating out. It’s that last vice that speaks to my true feelings: I can’t rationalize budgeting for a tomorrow that may never come. I want to live now. I want to spend my cash on everything listed in this magazine, not hoard it away so I can score a nice trailer in Clearwater, Florida, 40 years from today.

For this, people think I am insane. Of TONY’s 88 eligible employees, only 11 have not enrolled in the company plan. Our editor-in-chief, the unofficial poster boy for employer-sponsored 401k plans, was beside himself when he found out I was one of them. “Why would you turn down free money” he said. “If you saw a dollar on the street, would you take it?”

Begrudgingly, I started to research our plan. TONY‘s participant-directed 401k allows me to contribute up to $15,500 pretax annually, with a 50-cents-on-the-dollar match for up to 3 percent of my salary. Pretty sweet, right?

But wait – there’s fine print.

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