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  Category: Articles » Finance » Investing » Article

Your Retirement - Full of Golden Years or Golden Arches?

By Daniel Lamaute

"Global Crossing exec pledges $25 million to repay employees who lost their retirement funds"

"WorldCom Ex-Controller Pleads Guilty"

"Lucent employees file lawsuit to recover losses in their 401(k) accounts tied to Lucent stocks"

"Enron employees lose their jobs and most of their retirement savings as Enron becomes insolvent"

In light of all of the recent news concerning corporate fraud and 401(k) pension fund mismanagement, it is imperative that you take the time to learn about what you need to do personally to protect your own retirement assets. Sure, you might take the head-in-the-sand approach to retirement, but if you end up penniless in your golden years, you might find yourself working at McDonald's to keep food on your own table. That would be a real shame.

"Like millions of Americans, a large part of your savings may be in a pension fund sponsored by a private corporation or union...You have to be your own watchdog." --- Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor.


The first step you need to take in the protection of your 401(k) pension funds and retirement is to educate yourself. No need to hurry back to college to learn the fundamentals of pension fund management. Even a little bit of knowledge can help you go a long way.

One lesson the press has taught us over the course of the last year is that we should not blindly believe that our employer's 401(k) pension fund management team has our best interests at heart.


The second step you need to take in the protection of your 401(k) pension funds and retirement is to take an active role in its management.

Active participation could signal the need to diversify the structure and makeup of your 401(k) accounts. Too much investment in one company could devastate your 401(k) holdings --- think Lucent or Enron.


Active participation could also lead to making the decision about how and when to rollover 401(k) accounts to different financial management teams when you leave your employer. A good site to learn more about some of the key advantages and disadvantages of a 401(k) rollover is


We must take responsibility for our own retirement planning. We must educate ourselves and then actively keep an eye on the bottom line.

If we cannot view our retirement as the golden years, but must instead view our retirement through the golden arches, then we will have failed our responsibility to ourselves.

Get educated, participate actively and then take responsibility. What is at stake is your own financial future.
About the Author
Daniel Lamaute
Lamaute Capital, Inc., ( is an investment firm that specializes in setting up retirement plans for small business owners and non-profit organizations.

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