Retirement reporting: The best it will get
By John Sullivan
I forget how easy it is to get steeped in the echo chamber; existing in a business and industry means I’m subjected to its issues and too often just assume the larger population is as well. A number of nationally syndicated columnists have taken on the retirement crisis (most recently conservative columnist Michelle Malkin on Friday).
Smart people all, but the points they raise and the explanations they attempt are so elementary it has me wondering if the general public (and the so-called intelligentsia) are as up to speed on the issue as I think. Enter last week’s special retirement report from The Economist. I realize it’s a consumer mag, but if we’re still at the basics when it comes to retirement education and the crisis before us, we’re worse off than we think—like attempting to land on Mars while still explaining thrust and lift. And this is The Economist, no less, the storied publication everyone likes to at least “say” they read.
I was encouraged (as I always am) by their inclusion of behavioral economics; less so by auto-enrollment, and of course I was completely horrified by their mention of compulsion. We just went through this in the health care debate, I’m not sure I have the stomach for another go-around when it comes to saving for retirement. The best that can really be said for the piece is that it describes the problem and (thankfully) offers solutions. Despite my less-than-stellar review, I highly suggest giving it a read and sharing it with whomever you can. If this is the best of what reporting on the issue has to offer, your clients need all the help they can get.