Dear FutureMoneyTrends.com Member,
To start off, I’ve never been a fan of the 401(k). The very description of why people use them has always baffled me. I mean it’s a real loser’s bet, if you think about it.
Defer taxes now and invest in a 401(k) so that when you retire, you can pull out your money in the lowest tax bracket. Think about that; even at age 15, I knew I didn’t ever want to be in the lowest tax bracket, because that would mean I’m in the poorest tax bracket.
So by design, the 401(k)’s goal is to assist you as a poor old person – wealthy people need not apply.
I also don’t like to defer my investments and trap them like rats. If it’s still my money, then why do I have to pay a penalty to withdraw it?
If the 401(k) was more than just a tool for Wall Street to rake in the profits through fees and regular dumb money that is buying on the 1st and the 15th, then it would apply to all investments.
What about other investments, like your own business? Why isn’t that money tax-deferred?
Think about all the savings that has gone to 401(k)s since the early 1980s. Where would it have gone instead, if the government wasn’t manipulating the population into investing in a 401(k)? Perhaps it would have gone into investments that helped increase someone’s income today, instead of in 30 or 40 years from now, helping them to survive the expected income category that puts them in the poorest tax bracket.
60 Minutes did a special report on retirement accounts and uncovered all of the hidden fees – fees that add up to 50% of your savings over the course of 3 decades!
I think savings and investing is a great idea, but I hate that retirement planners and government officials have conditioned us to think that stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are the only answer. The real answer is investing in yourself, your own business, or investments that you are closer to the center of things, like houses, oil wells, and land.
A lot of times, the deferment of taxes comes with the deferment of life. We only get one shot at this, so maybe you don’t want to hoard all your cash for when you turn 65 years old. Maybe you want to go on a trip around the world now… Don’t defer your life, and certainly don’t trust Wall Street to help you retire or become wealthy.
Do you think the bankers and investment advisers on Wall Street are actively planning to be in the lowest tax bracket for themselves?
As someone who runs a financial newsletter, FutureMoneyTrends.com, I assure you everyone on Wall Street is getting rich from building businesses, many of them which are brokerage companies, collecting fees. The 401(k) is also a mindless investment, something that conventional wisdom actually touts as a positive, but I think this is hurting us. It is making our people more dependent on the government and causes them to become financially ignorant. I would bet that not 1 in 10 people even know what they are investing in.
Have you ever considered that you might own a company in China that is using slave labor, or a business that totally goes against your own religious or moral values?
Lastly, not paying the tax now is a huge risk. Do you honestly think taxes will ever be lower than they are today? With 50 million Americans on food stamps and our middle class deteriorating, I am sorry, but taxes are going to be much higher in the future. You are far better off paying the tax now than paying it later. Unless, of course, your plan is to be poor at age 70. In that case, I guess you should go ahead and max that 401(k) out!