Summary of How to Retire with Enough Money

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Most Americans do not prepare for retirement. To give them a hand, retirement planning expert and New School of Social Research economics professor Teresa Ghilarducci offers a no-nonsense look at the critical elements that influence the quality of your retirement – earnings, investments, health care, and more. She presents hard-nosed financial realities that may scare the unprepared. Though her medicine may taste bitter, Ghilarducci believes failing to take immediate action will guarantee an unpleasant retirement. While never giving investment advice, getAbstract recommends her practical, short, comprehensive manual to everyone who has to work and who one day hopes to stop.

About the Author

Teresa Ghilarducci is the Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz professor of economics at the New School for Social Research. She also wrote When I’m Sixty-Four: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them and Labor’s Capital: The Politics and Economics for Private Pensions.



“Facing the Facts”

Many people are fearful about being able to afford retirement. Even those with pensions, paid-for houses and Social Security benefits are apprehensive. Though individual responsibility is an integral part of retirement planning, the problem of not having enough money goes beyond personal accountability. Most future retirees face an economic climate hostile to their situation.

For decades, Americans depended on traditional pension plans that guaranteed specific retirement payouts. Employees contributed an exact dollar amount from each paycheck – in some cases, employers funded the entire amount – and their companies placed the money in a professionally managed fund. Having pension fund payouts plus Social Security benefits enabled many people to live comfortably in retirement with a minimum of stress.

But in the late 1970s, an accountant discovered a loophole – subsection 401k – in the tax code that eventually led the IRS to approve a new type of retirement fund. Though this provision originally was intended to cover the unique demands of highly paid executives who wanted to avoid paying taxes on deferred income, companies tried selling the ...

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    K. C. 3 years ago
    Not enough detail. Yes this is an abstract/summary but there should be more data to shock people more about debt numbers and how much of a change it actually takes to retire on time and not have to work after retirement.
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    S. O. 3 years ago
    For a person with a PhD in Economics this author makes some strange comments:
    1. Social Security is insurance - not really, it is more of a Ponze scheme with income transfers from current working folks to the retired older generation. It worked well when we had 64 workers to one retiree, it will collapse when the Baby Boomers overwhelm the system. (The money in the lock box is strictly IOUs from future taxpayers).
    2. Big Bad Business dropped pensions - she should be blaming the Federal Reserve for devaluing our currency with constant inflation, thereby making it impossible for pensions to cover future rich defined benefits. The US Dollar has lost 96% of it's value from the founding of the Federal Reserve.
    3. People being unable to save is again the result of the constant debasement of the value of our money.
    4. Her idea that we can improve Social Security payouts is laughable, the only way to do that is to overtax the working generation. I have to think the Millennials will eventually figure out they are debt / tax slaves and revolt.
    5. Parents lived with their children throughout history, it's only been recently, within the past 100 years that things changed with the success of capitalism in this country. Unfortunately, the weight of higher taxes, constant inflation and endless growth of debt have destroyed the foundation of the economy.
    In summary, the author presents many good points, but beware the "progressive" government can fix all ills points since that usually means they are reaching in your pocket for the "doing good" campaign.