Ignore The Math
A Twitter listener asks if he should still contribute to retirement up to the match at work if he's still trying to get out of debt. Dave says no.
QUESTION: A Twitter listener asks if he should still contribute to retirement up to the match at work if he’s still trying to get out of debt. Dave says no.
ANSWER: No. “What? You want me to not take the match? What? Ramsey, you’re crazy! Don’t you know how to do math? Don’t you know how important it is to take the match?” I do, and I’m such a math nerd, it just really kind of irks me that I have to say it—even though I don’t like it. It’s what I’ve learned to be true.
What I’ve learned to be true is personal finance is 80% behavior. It’s only 20% head knowledge. The power of you focusing passionately and sacrificing deeply to attack your debt with a vengeance supersedes the mathematics of the match on a short period of time. If you stop saving temporarily for a year or two max and you attack your debts with a vengeance, the power of that freeing you up from the debt is more beneficial to your future than that one or two years of missed match. I wouldn’t tell you to miss out on your match for 10 years or something. But I am telling you there is a power to focused intensity that supersedes the power of the match on the short term. So yes, I do recommend—even though it makes my hair curl every time I say it—you temporarily stop investing and completely focus on your debt for a short period of time.