4 thoughts on “Forbes post, “Does Elizabeth Warren Believe Saving For Retirement Is Possible? Turns Out, She Did – In 2005”

  1. Why haven’t ppl commented on this story? A couple of months ago, I realized I’d read this book back in the mid 2000’s, very practical advice & kind of scolding the middle class. I’ll tell you the issues Sen Warren, retirees & families a generation ago weren’t spending $100/month on cable & $250 on a family cell phone plan. Until 1985, the average new home was 1600 SF or smaller, now the average is almost 2700 SF, I wonder why housing costs so much? Think about how much ppl spend in restaurants now vs decades ago. The average new car pmt is now $515/no, used car $350. For the average family that can’t afford to save, cut out cable, get a cheap cell plan (you won’t die if you can only access data via Wi-Fi), buy a plain Jane used car that’s 5+ yrs old & eat out less. Most families won’t have to do all of these or do them forever, but if you can cut $250/month out of your budget, saved for 35 yrs, your retirement is funded!

  2. “It simply makes no sense to expect that employers can be in the business of acting as insurance companies, that is, as lifetime income providers.”

    If the point is that it can be done, it’s just not a task/function suited to corporate HR, great! Let’s require employer defined benefit plans to be administered by the appropriate management.

    It’s kinda too late (the defined benefit pension is virtually gone), but intellectually let’s not conclude it didn’t work so it never could if it didn’t work for a correctable reason.

    1. Hi, Matt –

      The reason why employers can’t “act as insurance companies” is not that it’s administratively complex – those who provide pensions, outsource the administration. But it’s the risk that they take on, that isn’t appropriate. GM was once famously labelled as a “pension fund that makes cars” because the assets backing its pensions were so enormous, and it was so much at risk of asset losses, interest rate changes, etc., in other words, things that aren’t related to its core competencies of making cars.


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