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I work as a “retirement plan administrator” and am credentialed as an “expert” in the non-investment-side of 401(k)s and older-style pension plans. As such, my antennae always twitch any time I see a story regarding my industry. This story got me shaking my head at the framing of the issue.
I see companies’ payroll, deferral, and contribution figures every day, so I know that folks are not utilizing their 401(k) plans enough. Such a huge percentage of employees don’t defer anything, while others are deferring only, say, 2 percent; not even enough to earn all of their company’s matching contribution available to them.
Now, I am not credentialed as a financial planner, so I’m certainly not going to advise at what percentage or amount that you should invest; however, regarding the article: just because folks aren’t taking advantage of their 401(k) doesn’t mean that “their 401(k) isn’t working for them.” We live in a society that relies more and more on someone somewhere else taking care of us because we can’t be bothered to take care of ourselves; income / cost coverage in our golden years is chief among them.
I’m afraid to say that there’s going to be a huge problem in the coming years as the Boomers, the last ones with any meaningful pension incomes (and, even then, not as numerous or as generous as The Greatest and The Silent Generations had), pass the retirement torch to we Gen Xers. Our generation doesn’t have retirement savings, but we do have iPhone 11s, car payments, and trips to Disneyland / The Caribbean, on top of the student loans for the college degree we were told we needed (but didn’t / don’t). We’re living well now, instead of living ok now with the aim of living at least ok later.