Fall is the popular time for open enrollment at work, when employers lay out all the ins and outs of their benefit package for the coming year, and leave it to workers to decide if they want to change or update any of their benefit coverage.
I bet plenty of you just roll your eyes when the email arrives telling you the deadline for updating your benefits. You either ignore it, or opt to keep everything as is.
Please don’t be so lazy. Especially when it comes to your workplace retirement plan. Take a few minutes to consider taking these steps to get the most value out of this important workplace:
- Save More in your Workplace Retirement Plan. The average 401k participant saves about 5% to 6% of her salary for retirement. That’s okay, but nowhere near enough. At a minimum I recommend everyone aim to set aside 10% of their salary, asap, and honestly, 15% is even smarter. If you can’t stomach going from 5% today to 10% next year, at the very least raise your contribution rate by at least 2 percentage points for next year. Don’t tell me you can’t afford it. What do you expect to live on in retirement? Besides, the truth is, once people increase their savings rate, they tend to adjust to having less money show up in their paycheck.