Targeting Pensions and Retirement Savings

Huffington Post, February 9, 2016 This is a story to make you weep. Several years ago a Portland, Oregon public schools retiree hired financial adviser Shayne Kniss to help him with retirement planning. The retiree would seem to have had no need for Mr. Kniss’s services. He already had a guaranteed life pension coming fromContinue reading “Targeting Pensions and Retirement Savings”

Strengthen or Expand Social Security?

Huffington Post January 18, 2016   President Obama called for strengthening Social Security in his 2016 State of the Union address.  In choosing the verb “strengthen,” he dodged taking a position within the Democratic Party’s increasingly central debate over expansion of Social Security.  Had he chosen “expand” rather than “strengthen,” he would have sided withContinue reading “Strengthen or Expand Social Security?”

Being in Control of Your Retirement Plan is a Bad Idea

James W. Russell Huffington Post November 24, 2015 It sounds great, to be in control of your retirement plan. To make the investments you want to make when you want to make them. To be in control of a plan that has the flexibility to meet your particular retirement needs. And Americans now have moreContinue reading “Being in Control of Your Retirement Plan is a Bad Idea”

The New State Retirement Savings Plans: Public Options vs. Corporate Business Development

Huffington Post (October 15, 2015) A key source of the growing retirement crisis is that employers of over half of private sector workers do not provide retirement plans beyond mandatory Social Security, which was not designed to proved full retirement security. In response, twenty-five states are developing retirement savings plans to which the affected workers couldContinue reading “The New State Retirement Savings Plans: Public Options vs. Corporate Business Development”

The New State Retirement Plans, Will They Be Enough to Resolve the Retirement Crisis?

By James W. Russell Huffington Post, September 29, 2015 Responding to the retirement income crisis, half the states are in various stages of developing plans for employees without workplace plans beyond Social Security. Will these plans be a “game-changer” as claimed by Angela Antonelli, executive director of the Center for Retirement Initiatives at Georgetown University’sContinue reading “The New State Retirement Plans, Will They Be Enough to Resolve the Retirement Crisis?”

How Good is TIAA-CREF? (2)

By James W. Russell Huffington Post, September 10, 2015 HOW GOOD IS TIAA-CREF? A year ago I posed that question in a blog entry for Beacon Press, the publisher of my Social Insecurity: 401(k)s and the Retirement Crisis.  I wrote that “TIAA-CREF, the retirement plan of many university professors and administrators as well as others,Continue reading “How Good is TIAA-CREF? (2)”

Blaming the Victims of the 401(k) Crisis

By James W. Russell Huffington Post, April 20,2015 As an author and speaker about 401(k)s and the retirement crisis, I often receive letters from readers who are relieved to find out that it wasn’t their fault that they came up short with these plans. One reader wrote:    “I read your book some months ago, andContinue reading “Blaming the Victims of the 401(k) Crisis”

Nonprofit Annuities: A Fix for the 401(k)

By James W. Russell Huffington Post, April 7, 2015 With 401(k)-type plans, participants are supposed to build up savings through stock market investing during their working years that will then support them during their retirement years. Most people, as is well known by now, for multiple reasons including excessive financial service industry fees, have beenContinue reading “Nonprofit Annuities: A Fix for the 401(k)”

Obamacare and Retirement Reform

By James W. Russell Huffington Post, March 20, 2015 If you thought that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, completely solved the health insurance problem of the United States, then you will probably be happy with some of the types of reforms that are being crafted to address the retirement crisis. But if you findContinue reading “Obamacare and Retirement Reform”

The Great Illusion of Retirement Savings

Nancy J. Altman and James W. Russell Huffington Post, March 16, 2015 The nation is facing a looming retirement income crisis.  Average retirees today are not well off.  Tomorrow’s average senior is likely to be in worse shape. Instead of addressing this looming crisis, too many of the nation’s policymakers and elites propose to makeContinue reading “The Great Illusion of Retirement Savings”