Books for the News, Economics

Solving the retirement-savings crisis

jacket imageIt won’t be easy to fix “sorry state of retirement in the U.S.,” Robert Powell acknowledges in his MarketWatch column. “But thankfully, someone has a roadmap.” That someone is Annamaria Lusardi, editor of the just-published Overcoming the Savings Slump: How to Increase the Effectiveness of Financial Education and Saving Programs.
Powell explains in user-friendly detail Lusardi’s eight-step plan for solving the nation’s retirement-savings crisis. From “identifying barriers to saving” to “keeping it simple,” Lusardi’s recommendations aim to make financial education and savings programs more effective. And a common thread in many of these ideas is her emphasis on the diversity of Americans’ saving needs and abilities.
“There is not a simple way to help people save,” she notes in a blog posting Powell cites. ” . . . We should not assume that people have all the necessary, basic information at their fingertips. I have also learned that people are very different and that those differences should be taken into account when devising saving initiatives.”
In Overcoming the Savings Slump, Lusardi’s coauthors join her in exploring the considerable challenges of devising and managing such initiatives during a transition from the traditional defined benefit pension system to one that requires more individual responsibility.
Read the introduction to the book.