Gambling with your retirement nest egg

In April of 2013, PBS Frontline aired a documentary titled “The Retirement Gamble” (available online). It offers a sobering report on the problems with 401(k) type retirement plans in the U.S. and the obstacles facing working Americans in their quest to achieve a secure retirement. If you were already suspicious of the motives of some in the financial services industry, watching this documentary is unlikely to alter your opinion. There have been both vocal critics and defenders of the show. Here are my observations. Read more

The value of financial literacy

At a time when Americans have been forced to assume greater responsibility for securing their financial futures, they face a complex economic landscape in which they must make important decisions including those relating to borrowing, spending, saving and investing. Most lack the knowledge and computational skills to do so successfully. Read more

Buyer beware

Americans today face a far different and more challenging financial landscape than previous generations. The disappearance of the old-fashioned employer pension plan and the likelihood that future benefits from government social programs such as Medicare and Social Security will be less generous than in the past are just two reasons why individuals areincreasingly anxious about their financial security. Workers and retirees are assuming greater responsibility for their financial well-being, requiring them to make difficult but important saving, investment and tax decisions. Since they often lack the skills to do so many are turning to financial professionals for help. Those who do have their work cut out for them. Read more