I've been trying to have my 401k from my old employer transferred into a new tax-deferred "vehicle". I finally managed to get all of the paperwork handled, and sent it all away to be processed. Recently I received a notice that there was a certified letter to pick up at the post office. Digressing into my first annoyance- I am home all day, pretty much every day, because I work from home. Please, Ms. Postwoman, knock on my door instead of filling out one of those stupid little pink cards and making me trek to the postoffice, which is way off yonder toward Yellow Springs, aka "nowhere". Anyway... So today I picked up the certified letter, which was sent from my old employer. Inside is a check with a post-it note affixed to it: "Don't know why sent here." The check was the value of my emptied 401k: $146,061.96
Well, that's bad. I shouldn't get a check from one of my retirement funds until, you know, I'm retired. Getting a check early basically means that I get taxed. I don't want to be taxed. Not now, anyway. I want to make some more money on that money first. This check is going into a "short-term" tax-deferred investment called an indexed annuity. The basic idea of this type of account is that when the market does well, I ride the market. When the market does poorly, I make 3.2%. So I'm never making less than 3.2% on my money, which is better than a savings account these days. Over the life of the account (I think it's 10 years), the market is likely to have some good years, so that'll be good, too. What gets me though, is how they printed the money words on the check. "One hundred and forty." According to my second-grade math teacher, that's not correct. The only place in a number where you're supposed to use an "and" is where the decimal place is. You'd think John Hancock would know that. But then, you'd think they would know better than to send this check directly to me. Guess not.