Now I can retire early

I got an unexpected check in the mail just before Christmas.  It was for rounding and calculation errors that occurred in my 401k account over a three year period.  It came with a letter that had a lengthy explanation and a handy Q&A on the back.

So how much was the check worth?  $0.01.  Yes, one cent.  The stamp to mail the check to me was $0.39.  The labor to process the check and send it was at least a few dollars.  There is no way I would write out a deposit slip, make a deposit and reconcile it in my Quicken software for one cent.

I got an IRS refund of $1 once.   I was going to frame it, but didn’t want them to have an outstanding check that could have drawn any attention to myself (Hey, I pay all my taxes, but who wants an audit?).

A check for one cent.  I think I’ll frame it.  After I tithe on it, of course.

6 thoughts on “Now I can retire early”

  1. “in my 401k account”

    Hi,

    I was wondering if Christians have any prohibitions against certain forms of spending or financings? In Islam and Judaism there are some, but I don’t know about Christianity. For example, in Islam we are prohibited to participate in financial transactions that involve interest. What are the financial prohibitions for Christians if any?

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  2. Hi Hakim,

    The New Testament does not have specific prohibitions against lending or borrowing for Christians, though implicit in the “love thy neighbor” command would be to charge reasonable interest rates. Jews were told not to charge interest to fellow Jews in the Old Testament (I can’t recall the verse . . . bonus points to anyone who can!).

    Having said that, the Bible does teach that while debt isn’t necessarily a sin, it isn’t a good idea. One becomes a slave to whoever one is indebted to.

    How do Muslims handle things like retirement accounts if they can’t participate in interest-bearing transactions?

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  3. “How do Muslims handle things like retirement accounts if they can’t participate in interest-bearing transactions?”

    Islamic Banking is still trying to find its home in todays modern economy, however, there have been some positive and progressive developments in the last 20 or 30 years. Some of which include prjocets inspired by the recent Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus; HSBC is probably the leading financial institution for Islamic Banking in the West.

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  4. “(I can’t recall the verse . . . bonus points to anyone who can!).”

    Exodus 22:25, Leviticus 25:36-37, Deuteronomy 23:19-20, with proverbs dealing with interest located at Proverbs 15:5, Proverbs 28:8, and a further condemnation in Ezekiel (18:13). Ezekiel 22 (verse 2 and 12) also deal(s) with interest.

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  5. Thanks, you win! One thing I like about blogging is getting information like this, and knowing it will be easy to find when I need it again.

    I especially like Proverbs 28:8 – “He who increases his wealth by exorbitant interest amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.”

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