Summary of Falling Short

The Coming Retirement Crisis and What to Do About It

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Falling Short book summary
You know there are many good reasons to start saving for retirement. And then there are the reasons you don’t know.


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Retirement should be a carefree time when retirees can savor life without worrying about paying the bills. But your retirement won’t be so savory unless you plan for it and put money aside. Unfortunately, many people make no financial preparations for retirement. With skyrocketing health care costs, longer life spans and the elimination of corporate pensions, an unplanned retirement can mean years of struggle. Retirement specialists Charles D. Ellis, Alicia H. Munnell and Andrew D. Eschtruth examine the current and future state of retirement in the United States and offer sensible recommendations for how the government and American employers and workers can address retirement more effectively and create a proper retirement system with the right planning and preparation. Everyone must plan for his or her senior years, and the authors provide an excellent primer. getAbstract recommends their informative report to organizations, employees and policy makers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why 1980 to 2000 were retirement’s “golden age” in the United States
  • Why the US retirement system faces a major crisis unless changes happen now
  • What the US government and American workers can do to fix the retirement system


The “‘Golden Age’ of Retirement Security”
During the late 20th century, many US workers could quit their jobs at 65 and enjoy a financially secure retirement. These people benefited from US government entitlement programs established for senior citizens. About half of the American private...
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About the Authors

Charles D. Ellis chairs the Whitehead Institute and has written 16 books. Andrew D. Eschtruth is associate director at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College where Alicia H. Munnell teaches in the Carroll School of Management. A former member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and a former assistant secretary of the Treasury, she spent 20 years at Boston’s Federal Reserve Bank.

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