In effect, we have kicked two of the legs out of the three-legged retirement stool. Individual savings have stagnated along with wages, as more and more of workers’ paychecks cover little more than everyday needs. The pension has been substituted with a stock plan that was never intended to serve as an adequate replacement. The new 401(k)’s “were initially viewed as a supplement to traditional pensions,” Morrissey said. “It’s not surprising that they haven’t worked out, because they weren’t intended to serve that purpose.”


    “The timing couldn’t have been worse for switching to a 401(k) system,” Morrissey said. But they are so lucrative to Wall Street fund managers, with much higher fees than pensions, that reverting back to pensions wholesale is an unlikely scenario.

When I decided to start managing our own IRA, I was surprised that our financial manager didn't make any effort to dissuade me. He just nodded, and said "ok". We were being charged almost 2% of the principle annually to trail the indexes. On top of that, it's all a black box. I can't see what trades were made. The highest resolution I had was a pie chart that had slices like "emerging markets" and "global targeted returns fund".

They are skimming. That's my bet.

Old people are moving in with the kids again. At least that might present some social benefits for the grandkids.

posted by kleinbl00: 1052 days ago