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More Doom & Gloom? The Real Retirement Crisis

By Jack Towarnicky

Andrew G. Biggs, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, will kick-off PSCA’s 71st National Conference (May 1st – May 2nd, Scottsdale, AZ) by confirming America does have a retirement crisis, while dispelling the myth that our crisis results from a failure of workers to save.  

You don’t want to miss this presentation!   

An internet search identified hundreds of recent articles in the popular press, academic journals and other publications that suggest America has a “retirement crisis” because workers fail to save, or because workers don’t have access to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans.  Here is a sampling: 

Increasingly, Americans believe what they’ve been told.  Typical are responses from a recent TD Ameritrade survey of Generation X workers (born between 1965 and the late 1970’s): 

  • 37% say they "will not be able to afford to" retire, 
  • 43% say "they are behind" in their savings, 
  • 49% are "worried about running out of money" once they leave the workforce, and 
  • 17% say they "aren't saving or investing for anything."

In prior blogs, I asserted that if there is a retirement savings crisis, it is not a lack of access to tax-favored retirement savings programs or inadequacies in existing programs (link).  Instead, if there is a savings crisis, one cause is our failure to prepare for the ever-increasing liability from medical costs in retirement (link).  

In his presentation, Andrew Biggs will confirm that the data paint a much more optimistic picture:

  • More Americans have retirement plans today than ever before, 
  • Plan contributions have increased, and 
  • Total retirement savings are at record levels. 

He’ll show that incomes for today’s retirees are increasing faster than for all other age groups, in part because of rising benefits paid by private retirement plans. 

And, he’ll confirm the real threat to your retirement....

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