You Don’t Have To Go To College To Save Right

In our new research study which interviewed participants across 10 European countries, our team working with Annamaria Lusardi has demonstrated that financial and risk literacy leads to better choices when it comes to making decisions and identifying the right paths to our financial goals. We also show that the impact of financial and risk literacy on decision-making goes above and beyond that of education. And as in Olivia S. Mitchell’s recent findings, we confirm that women and millennials are least informed when it comes to financial and risk literacy.Read More

Multiemployer Pension Plans In Crisis: Troubled Plans Need Public Resources To Survive

There is an emerging financial crisis among multiemployer pension plans in America. These plans are a subset of private sector defined benefit pensions covering 10 million workers and retirees. Most critical are the projected bankruptcies of the Teamsters Central States and the United Mineworkers of America plans, making front page news for the last several months. These plans and many others were undermined by two financial market crashes between 2000 and 2009, corporate bankruptcies, de-regulation, and over-regulation. It will now take more than hope to fix them.Read More

Understanding The Implications Of An Interest Rate Hike

Pundits keep a close watch on the U.S. Federal Reserve as it meets to raise interest rates after seven years of effectively zero rates. Yet the reality is that many Americans know little about interest rates, and much less about the implications of a rate hike for their finances! This was one key finding from the recently released S&P Global FinLit Survey, gathered with the support of McGraw Hill Financial.Read More

Putting The Pension Back Into Retirement

Defined contribution plans – often known as 401k plans – have become the mainstay of US company pensions, yet their main function has been to get employees to save and invest during their work years. These plans haven’t been successful at delivering lifetime income benefits, as a rule: fewer than one-fifth of all such plans today help workers convert their plan assets into retirement paychecks.Read More

Financially Frail Boomer Women

Baby Boomer women – now in their 50’s and 60’s – are doing worse financially than older women in the 1990s. My new research with Professor Annamaria Lusardi explains why, using national representative survey data from the Health and Retirement Study and the National Financial Capability Study. We track changes in older women’s work plans and debt burdens, along with the links to financial literacy and debt stressors.Read More

Making Your Retirement Savings Last

Ask yourself these questions:
Do you want a guaranteed retirement income stream as long as you live, to protect you against outliving your assets?
Are you nearing retirement?
Are you in a defined contribution pension – either an employer-sponsored 401(k) or 403(b) plan, or an individual Roth or regular IRA?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” reading this post could save you money!Read More

A Proposal For Allowing State Pension Buyouts

Many U.S. state and local employee pensions are facing dire problems as massive plan liabilities come due, threatening to drain government coffers. As Robert Novy-Marx and Joshua Rauh wrote in the Journal of Finance, 21 state pensions held less than 40 percent of the assets needed to pay benefits. Their estimate of the aggregate “funding gap” faced by states was roughly $2.5 trillion in 2009. Since then, the story has not improved, and it has likely worsened. Puerto Rico recently joined Detroit as a case study of fiscal and public pension mismanagement and failure, and the Puerto Rican pension is essentially without any assets.Read More