Many hundreds of years ago it was quickly determined that performing surgery on yourself wasn’t the most practical idea. (Remember as a kid when you tried to rub your belly with one hand while patting your head with the other? Now imagine doing that with a razor sharp surgical stone in one hand.) As a result the profession of Doctor was invented. At first, they might have been referred to as the village medicine man, but I think you get the picture.
It has been 40 years since the 401k was introduced and we are still asking retirement savers to effectively “operate on themselves” when it comes to managing their 401k balances. So far, most self-help solutions focus on providing more and more retirement planning tools, calculators and general education. This is like believing that if we can just produce a better manual or surgical scalpel, then finally people will be able to perform their own open-heart surgeries.
At blooom, we believe that the problem facing employee retirement savers isn’t a lack of DIY tools and information – but rather a lack of DIFY (Do-It-For-You) solutions. Recently named one of the World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 by Fast Company Magazine, blooom is one of the first to market solutions that truly deliver a DIFY 401k investment management tool for just a few dollars per month.
A generation or so ago, after working for a company for 30-40 years, upon retirement you would receive a gold watch and a pension check every month for the rest of your life. For over 90% of us in the workforce today, we can forget about a gold watch and definitely forget about receiving that pension check. Like it or not, the 401k (or 403b, TSP, etc) is the replacement for the old-fashioned pension. That makes saving and investing correctly much more critical.
There will always be a small group of savers that enjoy the process of researching investments and managing their own accounts. But for most Americans – it’s time for solutions like blooom to step forward and fill the gap, alleviating the need for retirement savers to continue to perform surgery on themselves.