As the Portfolio Turns, Episode II

soap opera

(Missed last week? Catch up on Episode I)

Still pondering her encounter with the mysterious Mr. Bond, the next day Julie is confronted by her new boss, Karen, a single mom, who is head of the physical therapy department at the hospital.

Karen: What a morning! Too many knee injuries. Let’s grab some lunch.

Julie: I wish—I have to finish up this paperwork for my retirement plan.

Karen: What, for that lame company plan?

[Dr. Pogue, the hospital administrator, appears suddenly.]

Dr. P: Ladies! I hope you’re not whispering about that cute gymnast in Room 5? No dating the patients—hahaha!

Julie: Actually, we were just discussing the 403b plan.

Dr. P: (pulling charts) Is that the new highway initiative?

Karen: (rolls her eyes) If I were you, Julie, I’d look into Vanguard. Right, Dr. P?

Dr. P: (departs) Couldn’t say—I’m independently wealthy!

Julie: But the hospital matches 50% of what I contribute, up to 6%. That’s free money. And it’s not like they’re charging me to join.

Karen: That’s the point—they are! Didn’t you see that article in SmartMoney? Who knows what kinds of fees you’re really paying.

Julie: (confused) What fees?

Karen: Investments cost money, baby doll, but almost no one ever asks about the fees they’re paying—because you want to trust the company plan. Then they nail you. Matching, my a**. (walks away)

Julie: (rifles through her purse and pulls out a card) OK, Mr. Bond… you’re on.

Tune in next week: Will Julie blow her chance to join the 403b plan? Can Mr. Bond help? What’s Karen’s beef with company retirement plans?

Your move
What would you tell Julie to do now?

This new series was made possible by DailyWorth expert and financial planner, Galia Gichon, creator of the “My Money Matters” kit, featured in the New York Times.