Foreword – 401 CONFIDENTIAL

It happens right under your nose.  The Department of Labor requires them to disclose to employer and employee how much they take out of your retirement account and what it pays for.  But it doesn’t matter.  You trust them.  Your employer trusts them.  You heard the fees are good.  And truthfully, you wouldn’t know if the fees are good or not.  It’s not what you do.  They do what they do.  You do what you do.  That’s what they count on.

But here’s the thing.  You don’t see it.  According to, you could be losing 4% or more of your retirement dollars to fees and you and your employer be completely unaware.  Your money is long gone by the time you pull out your smartphone to check your balance, and they don’t even leave you a note.  And do not think for one second that you are immune because you work for a large employer or because your plan is stocked with low-cost mutual funds.  Low-cost mutual funds are not the culprit.  They are the diversion.  These retirement plan companies are smarter than you. They are smarter than your employer.  And they are counting on you keeping it that way.

Why did I write this book?  To be your man on the inside.  Have you heard the expression “you don’t know what you don’t know?”  By showing you what you don’t know, perhaps I’ll have the good fortune of meeting you and we’ll end up working together.  I serve individual investors, small businesses, large corporations and local and state governments with retirement plans, investments, life insurance, disability insurance and ACA & ERISA compliance services.

I also thought it would be cool to save people a billion dollars a year in retirement plan fees.  This book can do way more that, but I should probably keep my expectations realistic.

Each chapter of this book is written to build your knowledge from the ground up.  I take complicated topics and speak about them in ways that third-graders can master by recess.  The simplicity is what makes it powerful for you.  If you are an employer frustrated with your retirement plan, you’ve come to the right place.  If you are an extremely plugged-in 401(k) participant concerned about fees, you’ve come to the right place.  If you think 401(kay) is pronounced 401(kuh), you’ve come to the right place. This book will enrich you and make your life better.  Each chapter will teach you something new and your future will be brighter for it.

Whether you are the 401(k) decision-maker at your company, plan participant, wondering if you should join your plan, or even if your company doesn’t have a retirement plan, this is the book for you.  You might just be the one to share this book with your company and get a retirement plan started.  Or you might just be the hero who shows your organization how to save everyone hundreds of thousands of dollars by switching to a lower-cost plan.

Ask any employer or employee who has been through the retirement plan wars and they will tell you.  The best 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans come about when employees speak their concerns, and everyone pulls together to make your organization’s retirement plan the best it can be.

Author: Michael J. Marini

Michael J. Marini is President & Financial Adviser at Orlando 401k Specialists.