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Monday, August 6, 2012

Is The Retirement System Failing Americans?

Economist Teresa Ghilarducci (courtesy: Princeton University)

How much should you save for retirement? Economist Teresa Ghilarducci says you need between 10 and 20 times your annual salary, if you want to maintain your current lifestyle. That means if you make a $100,000 a year, you need up to $2 million in cash and assets.

But 75 percent of Americans approaching retirement in 2010 had under $30,000 in the bank.

Ghilarducci says the numbers show we have a crisis on our hands.

But she told Here and Now’s Robin Young, “People should stop blaming themselves.”

She says failure is baked into the system.

Ghilarducci says 401(k) savings accounts don’t give employees enough choice and they usually come with high fees that can erode your retirement income by 20 to 40 percent.

Ghilarducci argues that we need a new government-run savings plan to supplement Social Security, a proposal that has led critics on the right to call her, “America’s Most Dangerous Woman.”

Replay Our Chat With Retirement Expert Teresa Ghilarducci

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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