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Why People Fail at Flossing and 401ks

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Twice a year I look at the dentist and tell her that I floss. She knows I don’t floss. And I know she knows, I don’t floss. But I stare at her anyway and tell her that I, do indeed, floss.

You see, the dentist and I have this mutual understanding. She knows that I know it’s good for me, I know I should do it, and the plain and simple truth is that it will never happen. She doesn’t press the issue or call me out, she just nods.

So this begs the question, if after knowing all the benefits, why don’t I floss?

Is it too confusing, not really. I can tie my own shoes and start a lawn mower, so this pretty much qualifies me to floss.

Is it scary? Not really.

Is it painful? Not entirely.

Is it time consuming? In the scope of things…no. But I’d have to say this would be my best excuse and one shared by many. After all, we all have emails, texts, kids, bills to pay, soccer practice to race to, a lawn and dogs to take care of…who has time to deal with flossing? And don’t get me started on floss-threaders or water picks.

I would say people fail at 401ks for a lot of the same reasons. For some it’s too scary, too painful, but for most it has to do with time. No one has time for it.

Here’s a quick example, let’s just say you are an “overachiever” (by my standards) and you floss once a day. Let’s say this takes 30 seconds to do. In one year you will spend 3.05 hours flossing. Are you spending 3+ hours a year on your 401k? The answer for most people is a resounding, “No!”

In fact, 57% of 401k participants wish there was an easier way to figure out the right 401k investments.* A well-constructed 401k takes time. And it really is something that should take a lot more time than flossing. If you can’t find time to floss, where are you going to find the time to make sure you are making the right decisions with your 401k? Here’s the nice thing, unlike flossing, you can get someone else to do it for you…and lucky for you, we know where you can get help: blooom.

I guess in a weird way, you can think of blooom as floss for your 401k. We get in there, clean it up, do regular maintenance and it saves you the time of doing it yourself.

*Study by AON Hewitt and Financial Engines, Help in Defined Contribution Plans 2006 through 2010

Published on August 11, 2014