Here's virtually everything you need to know about a 401(k) plan in 77 words:

  • It's one of the very best ways to save for your retirement. Few alternatives are better.
  • There's a good chance that your employer will give you money for participating in the company plan.
  • You should start contributing to your retirement plan as soon as possible.
  • If you are more than 10 years away from retirement, you'd probably fare best by putting all of the money that you defer into an equity index fund.

You may need to read no further than this. Seriously.

We wanted to get all the information we could to you right up front because this stuff is pretty important. Studies show that if you're the average Internet reader, your attention span is so limited that you've probably already clicked over to some other website by now.

Therefore, in an ongoing effort to keep your fingers from tapping out www.gotta-be-more-interesting-than-401(k)s-for-goodness-sakes.com, we'll try to keep things moving -- beginning with mentioning again that there could be free money involved.

Hey, we're not going to be dispensing any free money around here, but your boss just may be. If you can get some of that, various other studies show that you'll be happy you stuck around here for a couple hundred words.

If you can bear to stick around for another 60 seconds, click this link for the lowdown on getting your hands on some of that free money and setting yourself up for a sweet future.

If you are about to change jobs -- or still have a 401(k) with a former employer -- consider transferring or rolling over your 401(k) to a self-directed IRA. See this handy comparison guide to check out each of our sponsor broker's IRA products and fees.