The champions of the 401(k) lament the revolution they started One of the early proponents of the employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, Herbert Whitehouse, a former HR executive with Johnson & Johnson, is not happy with the outcome, according to this article on The Wall Street Journal. In 1981, his hope was that a 401(k) would supplement a company pension that guaranteed payouts for life. More than 35 years later, he has misgivings about what he helped start, according to this article in The Wall Street Journal. What Mr. Whitehouse and other proponents didn’t anticipate was that the then-new savings plans would largely replace pensions as big employers looked to cut costs. But today, just 13% of all private-sector workers have a traditional pension, compared with 38% in 1979. “We weren’t social visionaries,” says Whitehouse.
Retirement planning, estate planning and investing: all struggles More than half (52%) of workers aged 53 to 64 and 59% of those in the 40-52 age bracket are having a tough time planning for retirement, according to this article on MarketWatch, which cited a study by data and consulting firm Hearts & Wallets. “A lot of the retirement planning solutions today are very focused on the math of ‘providing income’ and I think life is a lot more complicated than that,” says an executive with Hearts & Wallet. “There are hopes and dreams. For boomers, the list of things they want to accomplish is very salient for them and the hyper-rational solutions miss some of the emotional complexity of real life.”
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