I am a city girl, so don't have the machinery, but I very much respect the skill involved in keeping a car running well.
I am not expert, but there was a time when I was kind of interested in "investing", back when you could make some crazy money. Now, well, we just keep pluggin the money in to some IRA's and stuff. I no longer mess around with it at all.
I tried to make my explanation in "simple man" terms, becuase I actually think that way ,too, more or less.
I do support saving, however, and even modest saving will help.
I remember this story about the King of Babylon, or some other ancient country, who asked one of his wise men how to become the richest man in the world. The wise man said, "save 10% of every bit of money you ever make. Just 10%, but it must be of EVERYTHING"
So, you make 20 dollars, you put 2 away. No matter what. You "pay yourself first". Easier said than done, I am sure. But, it does SOUND easy, doesn't it?Go talk to the old company. The money you put in there should still be there.
They may have moved it from one holding company to another, but it should be there.
I am not sure about this, but there is also a government site where they list "unclaimed property" . It's things like dead accounts , like yours, and unopenned safety boxes after the owner has died and no one came to claim, and prizes won but unclaimed, and all kinds of things. There is supposed to be millions of dollars waiting for the right person to claim it. Not sure how that works, but it might be an interesting path to explore.