This afternoon, the Senate HELP Committee (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) will meet to discuss the retirement security crisis — specifically, how to help Americans save more for retirement and make better saving decisions.
The witness list is pretty impressive: Jean Chatzky, financial journalist, author, and financial editor at NBC’s Today Show; Lori Lucas, executive member of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association; Dr. Julie Agnew, associate professor of economics and finance at William and Mary Mason School of Business; Dr. Jeffrey R. Brown, William G. Karnes professor of finance at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Business.
Not to be a party pooper, but I have a feeling the hearing will be about as successful as yesterday’s Senate vote to repeal health care reform: well intentioned, perhaps, but ultimately changes nothing.
Americans are smart. Smart enough to know that if you want to have money to spend later, you need to save it today. Even my 5-year-old son can grasp that concept, and he hasn’t the first clue what a 401(k) plan is. What he knows is Transformers.
He loves Transformers, and knows that if he wants to buy a new one, he has to keep saving his money. He wants them bad enough that I haven’t found any change under the sofa cushions in months and his piggy bank is getting very, very heavy.
Adults are no different than my little boy. We know what we need to do. We simply willfully don’t do it. And Congress can hold hearings from now until infinity, but until we decide we want and need to save for retirement like my boy wants new Transformers, they’re wasting their breath.
Share your thoughts — hopefully more optimistic than mine — in the comments.
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