There are many things we can be grateful for this Thanksgiving — our families, our friends, our jobs, our country. When I think of Thanksgiving I always picture Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedom’s paintings: Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Worship.

Speaking of freedom, many of us can be thankful for the freedom we get from 401(k)s.

While 401(k)s may not be the perfect retirement plan vehicle, they do have a number of important attributes that most of us probably take for granted. Here are four of them.

Freedom to direct investments. Isn’t it wonderful to know that you have control over your 401(k) plan account and if you manage it correctly you can end up with a fantastic retirement?

Freedom and ability to accumulate retirement savings. We live in a country and at a time when many of us are able to earn more than enough to live on. We can actually save some of our earnings for our retirement. Our economic system, entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic make this possible and are unique in the world.

Freedom of fear from loss. Our 401(k) plan savings are tucked safely away in trust accounts. Free from interference from our employers and the government. Laws exist to preserve our 401(k) accounts in the event of our bankruptcy and protect them from seizure by creditors. These, and a number of other features, give us solid reasons to believe in the possibility of retirement.

Freedom to get smarter and obtain help. Many website tools are available to help 401(k) participants become better investors. And nearly all plan participants have the option of receiving investment advice from a professional associated with their plan. These services are available to most participants at no charge. Nothing stands in the way of a motivated saver who wishes to create the retirement of his/her dreams.

I hope you and your family enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Robert C. Lawton

Robert C. Lawton

Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS is president of Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC, an RIA firm helping retirement plan sponsors with their investment, fiduciary, employee education and compliance responsibilities.