We conduct a lot of studies here at Swell because we love to learn about how people are approaching investing and money management. Sometimes the results confirm what we’re thinking and sometimes they surprise us.
One of the questions we posed in our most recent work life study involved retirement accounts. We found that nearly 1 in 6 Gen Xers saving for retirement weren’t sure how many different retirement accounts they had.
That’s a small but significant number of individuals with a very fractured approach to their financial futures. How does that happen to smart investors?
One reason may be that younger workers tend to switch jobs more often. Only 37% of Gen X workers had stayed in the same job over the previous decade. Only 15% of Millennial workers could say the same.
Each new employer presents an opportunity to sign up for an employer-sponsored account that may or may not be abandoned when switching jobs. Tracking those accounts down and rolling them into one place is not as easy as it sounds. It can actually be a pretty tedious process. But it’s one that has to be done.
To us, abandoning your employer-sponsored accounts is like going grocery shopping without checking your cupboards or making a list first. You’re bound to buy too much or too little and lose out on money (not to mention generate food waste!) in the process.
Are you a retirement investor who has yet to roll over your multiple employer-sponsored accounts? If so, all is not lost! You can start with something as simple as an email to a contact at your previous employer asking about the status of your account. The most important thing is just to get started!
Money Meets Morals Study Method
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Swell Investing from October 9-11, 2017 among 2,207 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.