Whether you travel regularly for business or just take the occasional vacation, chances are you’ve had reason to travel by airplane. If you’re anything like me, flying goes something like this: You find your seat, shove your carry-on wherever it will fit and begin the painful process of trying to get comfortable. Whether napping, listening to music (aka blocking out your neighbor), or skimming the in-flight magazine, few give a second thought to the fact that they are zipping through the sky 30,000 feet above the ground in a giant metal tube. No matter how you look at it, that is both incredible and frightening. We put our lives in the hands of pilots who, often relying on an autopilot system, get us safely to our destination.
When it comes to your 401k, you are the pilot. You have control over how much money to contribute and how to invest your contributions. And like a pilot flying an airplane, you can put your account on autopilot – but you still need to keep a watchful eye and make periodic adjustments to stay on course.