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Thinking About Retirement

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had several discussions with folks about retirement – specifically about retirement savings accounts.

First, my 22-year-old daughter was proud to show me her first paycheck from her first teaching job after college. It was ‘real money’ and she wanted to show me. It was, indeed, pretty cool to see! But, after seeing that big total, what caught my eye was that she was giving 10% to her retirement savings account. What? She actually listened to me about retirement savings? I was so proud of her!

Next, here at Eakes, our HR Manager, Kevin Fries and our CFO, Paul McKinney, and I met with our retirement plan advisor to review how the account had been performing lately. As most of you know, the market has been having a nice run as of late and over the last year, our 401(k) has grown 13.95%! What a wonderful time to be part the plan!

Finally, in a meeting after the meeting with our advisor, Kevin, Paul and I decided that it was in the best interest of all our employees to increase the amount of money Eakes contributes to their 401k. In addition to that, we also decided to allow new employees into the program faster. Now they can join in after only 3 months of employment instead of waiting a year. Eakes has always felt it was important to have a great retirement plan, and now, the program is even better for everyone.

After my daughter gave me a sneak peek at her check stub, she stopped by our house to say hi. And as she was leaving, I pointed out to her that it was good she was contributing 10% of her income to her retirement. I told her that if she kept it up she would have a comfortable retirement. She said she knew that was the best approach, but said at her starting salary, that maybe she was going to have to reduce the amount a little. I cleared my throat, preparing to begin my ‘Fatherly Speech’ about how “you really need to stick to it…”, and “you never know what life will throw at you…”, you know, all that jazz. She just laughed, told me she was kidding and drove off!