Retirement gurus from The Online 401(k) thought it was time to convey the pending retirement crisis to Americans in a different way than most financial planners — a film. The documentary, called “Broken Eggs,” premieres Wednesday in San Francisco and EBA got a first look at the project that’s been nearly two years in the making.

It follows four storylines, a millennial, a Gen Xer, a Gen X couple and a boomer couple from across the U.S., as the people share their financial histories and uncertain retirement realities with viewers. The movie also visits with economists, retirement experts and even has a surprise appearance from former vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to chronicle the history of social security, pensions, 401(k)s and how dire a situation the younger generations face when it comes to total reliance on personal savings for retirement.

“I don’t know what my children and grandchildren will do,” says Julia, the boomer wife whose house is undervalued after the 2008 housing bubble burst.

Chad Parks, the entrepreneur and CEO behind The Online 401(k) — the company’s mission is to bring 401(k) options to small businesses ­­— is executive producer of the project and told EBA in our July 2013 cover story that this journey and final film was not going to be a commercial for his company, which proved true. The film explores retirement as a personal concept to each and every individual American. “If it changes people's behavior, that's a success,” he said in July.

The film discusses possible solutions, including the value of auto-enrollment in 401(k)s, an increase in the payroll tax or, as one character hypothesizes: [Maybe] “give up the notion you get to retire — change what you do.”

Parks says that his group is working on an additional premiere and several film festivals to distribute the film. While not available for download or distribution directly to the public yet, a trailer is available at

Whether the festivals work out or not, Parks is excited to get this to the public soon. "At the end of the day though, our goal is to get as many people to watch the film as possible, so if we have to give it away to get it in front of retirees and pre-retirees, we will," he said in an emailed statement.

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