Coworker asked me a while back to help her get set up in the 403b. I said sure, happy to help - let me know when you are ready. Didn't want to be push about it, as I'm her supervisor and all that.
She came to me recently - "Can you help me with the retirement stuff so I have money when I'm an old lady?"
My first thought was "good! Getting started at 23!". I guess I should have expected the "well how much should I put in?" And "10% is too much! I'll lose so much money". She wanted to do less, I was able to convince her that ten was a good idea for now, and that over time she should increase that. I did not win her over to the annual automatic increase program that they offer, but a start is a start.
We froze for a while when it came to picking investments. She has zero knowledge of investments, and was already pretty overwhelmed by the above conversation, and really started to glaze over when I tried a really basic explanation of investing, so we left her in the default investment, which is the Vanguard TR. (Aside: I enjoy helping people understand financial concepts, but am not comfortable with making investment decisions for them, esp. coworkers I supervise. I told myself it was okay to just tell her to be in that fund, since HR basically does, and I think it's actually a reasonable choice for someone just starting out/not knowledgeable or interested in AA, as well as being one of the choices I actually use in our 403b, since the ER is far lower than many of the other choices).
She then said: "This stuff is hard! How did you possibly learn about it? I just want a man who will do this for me so I can be rich." Luckily our boss overheard this and gave her a serious are-you-kidding-me-I-never-want-to-hear-that-again.
Finally: she saw she had two accounts on the website, and asked about the second one. That is our defined contribution pension plan, and I explained how the annual contribution is calculated (2.5-4 percent of base salary, based on years of service), and that the accounts are vested after three years. She was very keen on the vesting schedule, and kept conflating the DCP account with the 403b. I explained how the 403 is her money always, but the other money isn't hers until she's "earned" it by working 3 years. And then I was floored: she says "so that's the account that once you've been here 3 years they put in 10% of your salary?" I thought she was confusing her 403 elections again, but no, she tells me that multiple co-workers have told her that once you are vested in the pension, they put in 10% of your salary every year until you retire-even after you stop working there. She pretty much refused to believe me when I told her that it doesn't work that way, because "so many people said it!"