RAPPAPORT REICHES

Tears and Target Date Funds: Giving 401(k) Advice to Our Daughter

Shari Greco Reiches, Co-Founder, Rappaport Reiches Capital Management

This month our daughter Isabel started her first job at Deloitte as an auditor. Ok, before she corrects me, an Audit and Assurance Associate! Stephen and I could not be prouder.

Now that she has a paycheck coming in, we encouraged her to create a budget, and live within her means. I reminded her of what my dad Dante Greco always told me: “You can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want.”

During her first week of work she was inundated with employee benefit choices. Now, Isabel is very independent, usually making all of her decisions on her own. However, she decided that Stephen and I perhaps could add some value when it came to her 401(k)!

Our first piece of advice was to contribute as much as she could to take advantage of the company’s “match”. Her company, like many others, will match a percentage of her contributions, up to a certain portion of her salary. That’s “free” money—so she needed to take advantage of that.

Now it was time to choose among the investment choices. We guided her to the Vanguard Target Retirement Fund option.

Target funds are “all in one” diversified funds designed to manage risk over time. When retirement is far-off, the funds have high exposure to stocks, and over time, as the retirement date gets closer, the allocation shifts to less in stocks and more in bonds. These funds also have rock-bottom costs as the underlying investments are index funds, which we love!

We advised her to select Vanguard 2060 Target Date Fund. Isabel asked, “What does the 2060 target date mean?” Stephen explained that 2060 would be about when she would look to retire.

“2060!” she exclaimed! “That’s 40 years from now… OMG, that’s a long time to work!”

My baby girl was right. I started to get emotional, teary-eyed. The next stage of her life was beginning. All I could say was welcome to the real world, Isabel. It’s not so bad.

And it’s so lucky to have you, as we are. Don’t worry about the 40 years… As they say, the days are long but the years go by quickly. And if you love what you do, like me, the job doesn’t feel like work.

You go girl.

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