Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
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


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.

Experts share a range of perspectives on how to combat the Islamic State militant group, and the role the U.S. should play.

Robin and Jeremy

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

November 26 5 Comments

Arlo Guthrie Celebrates 50 Years Of ‘Alice’s Restaurant’

Listening to the 18-minute musical monologue has been a Thanksgiving tradition among folk music fans for decades.

November 26 Comment

One Refugee’s Story Of Coming To America

Paul Okot vividly remembers landing at JFK airport in New York at 7 years old, after fleeing violence in southern Sudan.

November 25 3 Comments

Rapper Le1f Finds Struggle And Moral Diversity In American Music

We've been asking musicians what they think of when they think "American music." Today we hear from Khalif Diouf, aka Le1f.

November 24 7 Comments

Ferguson: One Year Later

City council member Wesley Bell looks back on the past year since protests and violence swept the Missouri city.