Restoring Retirement Security: The Market Crisis, the 'Great Risk Shift,' and the Challenge for Our Nation
Posted: 14 Oct 2011
Date Written: October 14, 2011
The recent economic downturn has cast in stark relief the uncertainties associated with retirement and health care for older Americans. Yet, before the downturn even began, the economic landscape was already shifting in ways that concentrated more risk and responsibility on Americans planning for retirement and health care in old age. In this article, Professor Hacker addresses the current risks faced by aging Americans, moving from the historical retirement framework of the "three legged stool" -- Social Security, private pensions, and personal savings -- to the current reality where pensions are few and far between. In doing so, he pays particular attention to special issues faced by working- and middle-class Americans. Additionally, drawing upon his knowledge of the health care system, Professor Hacker delves into the increasingly important role health care costs play in retirement planning, and how retirement planning should take into account potential future health care costs. Finally, he suggests a series of changes to restore retirement security by alleviating the problems produced by the disappeareance of private pension plans and increases in health care costs.
Keywords: pensions, health care, retirement planning, defined contributions
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