You Know You’re An Adult When….

I just got off the phone with my financial planner and we’re in the process of rolling over my former employer’s 401(k) into an IRA and creating a separate Roth IRA that I will contribute to monthly. She’s also been reviewing my 403(b), which is the retirement plan in academia…it works just like the 401(k).

I have to admit that it freaks me out to put my money in somebody else’s control. I was raised lower-middle class. My parents would charge Christmas gifts and pay for them over the following 12 months. We’d go on yearly vacations, but tended to go to places where we had relatives and friends we could stay with for free (a skill I’ve continued to this day). No food was ever allowed to go to waste, thermostats were kept low in the winter, lights were switched off when leaving the room.

Consequently, for the past decade or so of putting money into retirement, i’ve been investing rather conservatively…despite this being the age range when I should be taking greater risks. But now I’ve got a person I’ve paid to lead me in the right direction and she’s (wisely) encouraging me to take more chances.

I’m still too chicken to allow her access to the funds themselves (to move them around). But I use her to guide me and I do the actual funds-transferring myself. And my retirement savings haven’t exactly been growing at an exponential pace because everything has been invested so safely.

Now, in addition to what I have been contributing to my 403(b) and into my savings account each month, she’s encouraging me to contribute even more into the Roth IRA. I know that’s the smart thing to do….

…I just don’t like this “being an adult” stuff.




  1. Comment by Mark on August 30, 2006 11:42 am

    I hear you, pumpkin. I have had several people suggest their financial planners to me, but the idea of someone else touching my money just seems so, so, dirty… I also have gotten the IRA lecture, but have yet to do it.

    Like you, I was raised lower-middle class and had the exact same vacation stories. Sigh.

  2. Comment by Will on August 30, 2006 6:09 pm

    You, Mark and I–all the same financial family history. I was very careful of money and worked hard–for 22 of my now 31 years at MIT I took in free-lance work and had a part-time job at a private school in Cambridge running their stage for them.

    But I did force myself to trust to a financial house and allowed them to make decisions–in consultation with me. It’s paid off handsomely. I can take an early retirement and be secure and have enough for some real self-indulgence as well. The trick is to find someone you can trust, make sure to define your goals and risk comfort level VERY CAREFULLY, and make sure your instructions are being respected.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a comment