First, figure out when you and your spouse will be laid off or be too sick to work.
Second, figure out when you will die.
Third, understand that you need to save 7 percent of every dollar you earn. (Didn’t start doing that when you were 25 and you are 55 now? Just save 30 percent of every dollar.)
Fourth, earn at least 3 percent above inflation on your investments, every year. (Easy. Just find the best funds for the lowest price and have them optimally allocated.)
Fifth, do not withdraw any funds when you lose your job, have a health problem, get divorced, buy a house or send a kid to college.
Sixth, time your retirement account withdrawals so the last cent is spent the day you die.
As we all know, these abilities are not common for our species. The current model for retirement savings, which forces individuals to figure out a plan for their retirement years, whether through a “guy” or by individual decision making, will always fall short. My friends are afraid, and they are not alone. In March, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, only 52 percent of Americans expressed confidence that they will be comfortable in retirement. Twenty years ago, that number was close to 75 percent.
I hope that fear can make us all get real. The coming retirement income security crisis is a shared problem; it is not caused by a set of isolated individual behaviors. My plan calls for a way out that would create guaranteed retirement accounts on top of Social Security. These accounts would be required, professionally managed, come with a guaranteed rate of return and pay out annuities. This is a sensible way to get people to prepare for the future. You don’t like mandates? Get real. Just as a voluntary Social Security system would have been a disaster, a voluntary retirement account plan is a disaster.
……………………..MORE via Our Ridiculous Approach to Retirement – NYTimes.com.