Author Topic: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian  (Read 15018 times)

FIREdancer

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I'm doing an online Financial Workshop at work right now, which is part of my company's wellness program, and it just makes me shake my head.  It has tips like planning not to spend any more than 90% of your income to keep the remaining 10% for saving up for big items (not even to mention retirement!).

I'm so thankful to my parents for teaching me good saving habits (notice I said saving habits and not spending habits, which seems to be where the normal advice starts).  And I'm sad for people who don't have the financial education that I was fortunate to pick up through my life.

misshathaway

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2016, 01:42:17 AM »
Sad. The job I retired from was at a HOSPITAL which specialized in treating juvenile diabetes. As part of our wellness program they had "nutrition" walkthroughs featuring sugar-laden granola bars and fruit drinks, and exhibits of the outdated food pyramid. Not a good idea to take life advice of any sort from your job.

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2016, 10:26:52 AM »
That is insane!  Did your own company put it together or did an outside vendor do it?  If it's your own company, then ok I get it.  Not everyone has a PF expert on staff.  But an outside vendor?  Give me a break.  If you're hiring a pro, they need to give pro advice.

Travis

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2016, 10:43:32 AM »
My unit is hosting a financial workshop next week.  I like to attend them a couple times a year just to see what the Army (or whoever they hired) is telling my troops.  I'll post a synopsis after.

FrugalInTheBigSky

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2016, 01:05:57 PM »
I am curious if others have been offered, or have attended, these types of workshops through employers. I have an interest in a side gig/future career in providing a type of coaching like this-- but in the mustachian way!
I consult with small business owners now in my current work and know that a financially stressed employees make for a stressed workforce. Not unlike an unhealthy workforce.

Tris Prior

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2016, 04:59:08 PM »
We're having a series of these in a couple weeks at my new job. One is called something like "Why Invest for Retirement?" uh....


meghan88

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2016, 05:45:46 PM »
We have employee RRSP matching where I work.  Meaning that for every dollar an employees shelters from tax by putting it into a registered retirement savings plan, our employer matches it, up to 4% of a person's income.  Less than 50% of employees bother to do this.

Tom Bri

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2016, 06:30:55 PM »
I am in the middle of new hire orientation, at a hospital. They just handed us a packet with the various insurance choices and investment options. Zero discussion what-so-ever.


Tigerpine

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2016, 06:36:35 PM »
Last year my company switched over to only offering high deductible health insurance plans.  They gathered all the employees together, and some representative from corporate went up front to explain it all.  He had some good charts, but he did a poor job of explaining them.  He did an even worse job of answering employees' questions during the Q&A.

People are born ignorant by definition.  It's such a travesty when people are kept there by the very ones trying to enlighten them.

coin

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2016, 07:49:01 PM »
That is insane!  Did your own company put it together or did an outside vendor do it?  If it's your own company, then ok I get it.  Not everyone has a PF expert on staff.  But an outside vendor?  Give me a break.  If you're hiring a pro, they need to give pro advice.

I suspect these professionals know their market - the mega-frugal, saves-at-least-30%-of-their-income crowd will almost never pay them for financial services. 

Meanwhile, the kind of person that lives pay to pay probably doesn't want to hear that they should be saving 20%, 30%, or even 40% of their pay because they're 30 or 40 and have nothing saved.  Nothing gets people to double-down on their position quite like telling them that if they don't cut down on their lifestyle significantly they will be eating cat food in retirement, so the financial advisorís will tell them to save 10% because it's better than nothing.

Squirrel away

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2016, 04:52:26 AM »
It's funny as I remember thinking at one point that saving 10% of your income was quite frugal.:D

SwordGuy

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2016, 08:13:14 AM »
It's funny as I remember thinking at one point that saving 10% of your income was quite frugal.:D

By American norms, it is. :(

MandalayVA

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2016, 08:18:05 AM »
Sad. The job I retired from was at a HOSPITAL which specialized in treating juvenile diabetes. As part of our wellness program they had "nutrition" walkthroughs featuring sugar-laden granola bars and fruit drinks, and exhibits of the outdated food pyramid. Not a good idea to take life advice of any sort from your job.

Considering that my company just got through "Stress Awareness Month" with a complete lack of awareness of what causes stress--the job--I agree.

Nederstash

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2016, 10:17:31 AM »
It's funny as I remember thinking at one point that saving 10% of your income was quite frugal.:D

By American norms, it is. :(

I think in most developed countries 10% would be considered a good amount to save.

Kris

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2016, 11:51:00 AM »
It's funny as I remember thinking at one point that saving 10% of your income was quite frugal.:D

By American norms, it is. :(

I think in most developed countries 10% would be considered a good amount to save.

True, though in most developed countries, there's a better social safety net and health care won't bankrupt you.

Nederstash

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2016, 12:56:36 PM »
It's funny as I remember thinking at one point that saving 10% of your income was quite frugal.:D

By American norms, it is. :(

I think in most developed countries 10% would be considered a good amount to save.

True, though in most developed countries, there's a better social safety net and health care won't bankrupt you.

Looked it up for the Netherlands (which ticks both boxes): 85% of people save money, only 27% of these people save a regular amount per month and that is only 9% of income. On average the Dutch save 216 euro per month. (source: NIBUD)

Seppia

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2016, 05:08:00 PM »
That's not too bad, it's probably 10% of take home pay.
As an average it's pretty good.

sleepyguy

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2016, 09:35:21 PM »
Our company realized how little employees were opted into the program... they ended granting the 1st 3% with no employee contribution.  The next 3% is matched up to 50% contributed.  So pretty much, employee puts in 6% then company puts in 6%, for total of 12%... put in nothing and you still get 3%.  This is for RRSP.

Sadly in the room people were moaning and groaning they had to put in anything... these are from like late 30 to 40yr old workers here.  At least 40% of the employees didn't max out... leaving free money at the table.

I just don't get it, i see these employees with starbucks coffees everyday, takeout lunch everyday.  Easily could get the max match if they cut back a bit.

We have employee RRSP matching where I work.  Meaning that for every dollar an employees shelters from tax by putting it into a registered retirement savings plan, our employer matches it, up to 4% of a person's income.  Less than 50% of employees bother to do this.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 09:51:03 PM by sleepyguy »

FIREdancer

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2016, 08:07:35 AM »
That is insane!  Did your own company put it together or did an outside vendor do it?  If it's your own company, then ok I get it.  Not everyone has a PF expert on staff.  But an outside vendor?  Give me a break.  If you're hiring a pro, they need to give pro advice.

I'm pretty sure it is an outside vendor.  But the thing is, it seems like the vast majority of the "pro" advice is that if you're saving 10% you're doing great!  It's a vicious cycle because advice like this will just encourage a majority of people to continue their outrageous spending.

FIREdancer

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2016, 08:14:16 AM »
We have employee RRSP matching where I work.  Meaning that for every dollar an employees shelters from tax by putting it into a registered retirement savings plan, our employer matches it, up to 4% of a person's income.  Less than 50% of employees bother to do this.

My employer matches up to 5% of income if you contribute to their retirement plan, and they automatically enroll all employees at that amount to take advantage of the full match.  So you have to actually take action to opt out.  In a way, I don't like being forced to do things, but I'd be saving anyway, and I guess is a good start for those who don't think about it because at least they are saving something.  But 5% isn't gonna let you retire anytime soon!

ysette9

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2016, 12:16:26 PM »
That is a fantastic idea though and one that I think every company should emulate. Let's be frank: we can talk about "should" all day long, but the fact is that people are lazy and don't do a good job planning for the future. To combat human nature we should set the system up so that the default works in their favor, not the other way around. Meaning: the default should be that you are signed up for 401(k) in a target date fund contributing at least x percentage of your salary (we can debate over that number; 10%? enough to get full match?). That is what everyone does unless they specifically opt out. Naturally, since most people are lazy, they won't change the default and will end up saving some money.

Opt-in 401(k) and waiting periods are nothing short of stupid in my humble opinion.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2016, 03:27:30 PM »
Opt-out is definitely better than opt-in, within reason. An opt-out program or mandatory program would have to be fair to the employees.

Example: many companies also have multiple investment options including company stock. An opt-out or mandatory program probably shouldn't be used to stabilize or prop up a company's own stock. I remember reading about how so many employees at Enron did the right thing, invested in the 401(k) account available to them, and then lost retirement savings because of the perfidy of people they'd probably never actually met.

ysette9

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2016, 04:09:47 PM »
Oh, I absolutely agree with you there. That is why I mentioned a target date fund in my example. It doesn't have to be that though it is a good, neutral default.

okits

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2016, 11:36:24 PM »
That is a fantastic idea though and one that I think every company should emulate. Let's be frank: we can talk about "should" all day long, but the fact is that people are lazy and don't do a good job planning for the future. To combat human nature we should set the system up so that the default works in their favor, not the other way around. Meaning: the default should be that you are signed up for 401(k) in a target date fund contributing at least x percentage of your salary (we can debate over that number; 10%? enough to get full match?). That is what everyone does unless they specifically opt out. Naturally, since most people are lazy, they won't change the default and will end up saving some money.

Opt-in 401(k) and waiting periods are nothing short of stupid in my humble opinion.

I've always assumed companies had a waiting period and an opt-in process partially as hurdles.  They know a chunk of people will forget, a chunk will be unwilling to delay gratification (retirement savings tomorrow vs. spending right now), and some will be so used to getting that portion of their pay that they have already committed those funds to ongoing expenses before they're even eligible for the match.  And some will be too lazy to search out and complete the forms.  A low utilization percentage must save companies tons of money, while still allowing them to trumpet the great employee benefits available.

Lizzy B.

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2016, 07:13:13 AM »
We've had a few of these financial workshops run by the company that manages our 403(b)s. All those I have attended have been an epic waste of time for me, but maybe helped out some other folks in the room.

The last one I went to, there were two of us Mustachians at a table with two brand-new straight from school hires. They seemed more interested in what we had to say than the presenter, so I can only hope that we did some good.

elaine amj

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2016, 07:28:34 AM »
It's funny as I remember thinking at one point that saving 10% of your income was quite frugal.:D

We started off married life saving 20% and thought we were doing amazing. In retrospect, it was really good considering DH was the sole breadwinner and I was a SAHM with 2 small kiddies. We could have done better though as there was still a lot of extra fat in our spending.

I discovered MMM about 10 years later and we have gradually upped it and am now aiming for 50%. It does help that both DH and I work although our lifestyle has definitely inflated.

Tom Bri

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2016, 10:34:18 AM »
In the process of signing up for my hospital 403b right now. It has 3% automatically deducted UNLESS you opt out, or opt for a higher #.
I ran the numbers on the handy wage calculator they offer to see what % I would have to contribute to max out ($18,000 is the max $ I believe). Fun to play with. Since I was sitting next to a fellow new hire, I showed her the calculator (it wasn't mentioned, I stumbled on it while playing around on the HR website) so she could see how the different insurance plans/retirement options would affect her take-home.
I wish HR would take a few minutes out of our week-long orientation to show people stuff like this and go over the options. Instead, they just handed us some packets and said 'you have 30 days to get signed up, come see us with questions.' There is only one fund they offer that isn't high management cost. How many of my fellows will know to look for that? Of course, the automatic option is one of the high-cost plans. You have to hunt through the booklet to see the options. I am just barely competent enough to know to look at this stuff; I can imagine how ignorant most of my much younger colleagues are.

JZinCO

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2016, 10:49:32 AM »
Work is having a three day 'fair'. It actually looks good. Aside from the sales pitching that I'm sure is to be snuck in by Fidelity, Valic and TIAA, reps from SSA were there to talk about GPO/WEP/Medicare and the state pension plan had reps to talk about health benefits.
I might go in future years.

Squirrel away

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2016, 11:21:00 AM »
It's funny as I remember thinking at one point that saving 10% of your income was quite frugal.:D

We started off married life saving 20% and thought we were doing amazing. In retrospect, it was really good considering DH was the sole breadwinner and I was a SAHM with 2 small kiddies. We could have done better though as there was still a lot of extra fat in our spending.

I discovered MMM about 10 years later and we have gradually upped it and am now aiming for 50%. It does help that both DH and I work although our lifestyle has definitely inflated.

It sounds like you are doing amazingly well. :) We used to spend everything we earned and getting in debt on top of that. I remember thinking saving 10% must only be for rich people.:D

elaine amj

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2016, 07:32:44 AM »
It's funny as I remember thinking at one point that saving 10% of your income was quite frugal.:D

We started off married life saving 20% and thought we were doing amazing. In retrospect, it was really good considering DH was the sole breadwinner and I was a SAHM with 2 small kiddies. We could have done better though as there was still a lot of extra fat in our spending.

I discovered MMM about 10 years later and we have gradually upped it and am now aiming for 50%. It does help that both DH and I work although our lifestyle has definitely inflated.

It sounds like you are doing amazingly well. :) We used to spend everything we earned and getting in debt on top of that. I remember thinking saving 10% must only be for rich people.:D

THANKS! It helped that both DH and I are naturally frugal folks who have strongly believed in living beneath our means and saving. We thought that double the recommended number would put us far ahead. We never even conceived of a 50% savings rate.

I remember sitting with a financial adviser some years back and after he ran the numbers, I felt that the retirement number of $1 million plus was just impossible. At our savings rate at the time, there was no way we would reach it. It felt rather hopeless. He kept saying that we were doing amazing, way better than most people. Which led me to wonder how people were managing to retire at all. MMM gave me a much more achievable vision of FIRE.

MgoSam

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2016, 09:51:06 AM »

THANKS! It helped that both DH and I are naturally frugal folks who have strongly believed in living beneath our means and saving. We thought that double the recommended number would put us far ahead.

I still think that doubling the recommend number (I'm guessing it was 10%) is still awesome. One thing to consider with a $1M retirement nest is that it isn't necessary for all people. As you are living frugally, you likely need less though I'm sure you know this now that you are a Mustachian.

Keep up the great work!

Trudie

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2016, 09:53:58 AM »
We have employee RRSP matching where I work.  Meaning that for every dollar an employees shelters from tax by putting it into a registered retirement savings plan, our employer matches it, up to 4% of a person's income.  Less than 50% of employees bother to do this.

We have something similar, and most of our employees participate... but we always have a couple of hold-outs.  We even did a "mock payroll" for employees not participating to show them what effect participating would have on their take home pay.  Didn't make a difference.

Travis

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2016, 03:56:42 PM »
My unit is hosting a financial workshop next week.  I like to attend them a couple times a year just to see what the Army (or whoever they hired) is telling my troops.  I'll post a synopsis after.

So the workshop was run by one of our senior NCOs.  Today was the first of a multi-part series of seminars (every 2 weeks for 3 months).  It is basically a modified version of the Dave Ramsey get out of debt system.  We didn't talk about too much except the overarching philosophy and steps to take (small emergency fund, debt snowball, larger emergency fund, 15% of income invested, college funding, pay off mortgage, enjoy life....and never use credit cards ever).  The system also offered up the zero-sum budgeting technique.  It doesn't sound like the workshop will get too deep into investing strategies, and if it does I won't be there to watch since I'm deploying again soon.  The NCO running the workshop has done this a few times before and is a success story for the system.  He's married with 14 kids (not a typo).  Two of them are teenagers and the rest are adults.  Out of the 12 adults 9 are college grads with two of them holding Masters degrees.  The largest student loan debt out of the 12 is $27k.  When he married his wife she brought most of the kids in from a previous marriage and was debt free while he brought $35k in debt with him.  They've debt free for years are and saving up to pay cash for their retirement home when he leaves the Army in a couple years.

He sounded knowledgeable about the material and he's given this course several times.  I wish I could stay through to the end to see where it goes since a soldier in my office is also attending.  He cannot legally peddle Dave Ramsey's system in this environment and he has to be careful about attribution of anything else he teaches.  I mentioned that the credit card advice seemed unnecessary, but he quoted a study that says even for folks who use credit cards and immediately pay them off they still spend up to 18% more as a result.  While he acknowledged the math worked in favor of responsible credit card use, he also reminded me that if everyone was good at math we wouldn't have so much consumer debt in the first place. Fair enough.  I told him afterwards I was there more or less to audit his seminar and he asked that I be there for the next one as an extra voice to help out.

RosieTR

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2016, 11:13:05 PM »
Work has been sending me harassing emails to go to one of these financial/retirement workshops. Never mind the fact that I had a one-on-one with one of the "financial advisors" from the retirement fund company less than 6 mo ago. How often do they think I need this crap? That guy could not or would not put less than 60 yo in his little computer algorithm modeling program (some version of Monte Carlo simulation, apparently inferior to firecalc). What did he come up with? That if DH and I keep saving like we are for the next 20 years, we'll have $3.5K more per month to spend in retirement in 2015 dollars. Face. Palm.

I can only imagine how much less helpful the group workshop thing would be. If I were a confrontational person who wasn't embarrassed by uncomfortable social situations, I might be tempted to go and blow somebody's mind like LizzyB did!

FIREdancer

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2016, 07:11:02 AM »
That guy could not or would not put less than 60 yo in his little computer algorithm modeling program

I hate those things, too.  At my work anything from 55-62 is considered early retirement, and if you want out before 55, it's not retirement, it's just quitting.  And even if you retire after 62, I think you don't get the full retirement benefit until after 67.  Luckily there is both a pension and a contribution-based retirement plan at my employer, so although I will miss out on the pension (since I'm planning to retire well before 55), at least I get to keep the employer match on the contribution plan.

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Financial Workshop at Work Makes Me Sad for the Anti-Mustachian
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2016, 11:06:46 PM »
Once, working for a financial company, I attended one of the company's employee retirement seminars - optional, requiring proactive choice to attend - and got the same anemic "save 10-20% of your pay, we know it sounds hard, but it's important" lecture you could find anywhere. It amazed me hearing some of the audience chatter - "I could never do that", from people earning probably three times what I did, but given the ire it can provoke when people's "but we caaaaan't" rhetoric is put to shame by counterexample, it seems often unwise to out yourself before you're ready to leave.

I still wonder about their actual target audience for that seminar, though, or where the presentation came from - being optional it just seemed to attract those who already knew what they needed to do, so they could hear it over again, and though aimed at financial pros it was oddly devoid of anything more than handwaved encouragement, far less robust than what would typically be offered to the clientele.

I have yet to have a job where the retirement calculator lets you set your target age of retirement at anything earlier than 60 years. I sometimes think that corporations are catching onto the same wisdom the military has had forever - if you encourage your employees to live beyond their means, they'll be much easier to retain and motivate.