Friday, April 3, 2009

What's the answer to the dwindling 401(k)?

The New York Times features experts’ opinions on retirement savings in the current economy. Baby boomers looking ahead at retirement saw their 401(k) plans dwindle over the last year. As they near retirement, many are looking for other ways to save. Here are a few highlights from the op-ed:

• Only 5.5 percent of American families owned an annuity in 2007
• More than half the United States work force does not have a 401(k) plan

The Elder Economic Security Initiative at Wider Opportunities for Women advocates for strengthened policies that protect the worker and make saving for retirement easier for older Americans. Without these policies in place, it is much more difficult for workers to accumulate what’s necessary to age in place in their later years. For instance, in Minnesota, the average social security payment for a woman is just $11,233 a year. According to the Minnesota Elder Economic Security Standard Index, a single elder without a mortgage needs $16,767 just to make ends meet in Minnesota, amounting to a gap of more than $5,500! A structured, functional, and fair retirement system is necessary to move current and future elders toward economic security.

The author of this post is Alisha Howell of Wider Opportunities for Women.

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