Retirement is big business in America, but is the system costing workers and retirees more than what they’re getting in return, asks FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith.

“The Retirement Gamble” Facing Us All

Watch The Retirement Gamble on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

April 23, 2013, 10:09 am ET · by Martin Smith

Category: Investing, Video

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

10 Responses to “Frontline: The Retirement Gamble”

  1. A says:

    There are a LOT of people who should have watched this educational program, but alas, they were too worn out from the excitement of Dancing with The Stars.

    The program confirmed a belief that’s been in place in the financial industry for decades:
    Consumer ignorance is highly profitable.

  2. Gnatman says:

    Would have preferred that the segment skewer the Corporations over terminating defined benefit pension plans. This was touched on ever so lightly and scapegoated life expectancy gains for the shift to 401Ks.

    Nevertheless, we are left with less professional management and more and more Mom and Pop investment decisions.

  3. VRWC says:

    Gotta love the irony of a college professor telling us about what a ripoff 401K’s are…. complaining about hidden price and quality.

    If there is an industry more overpriced and of more dubious quality than higher education, I can’t imagine what it might be.

  4. BoKolis says:

    It’s you vs. you, not you vs. them.

    The issue is not so much the fees as it is paying for underperformance.

    Companies with over 1000 employees having shit plans may be, in my estimation, a capital crime but, also in my estimation, good luck finding an in-house plan manager. Whadda ya gonna do; these are the same guys providing a match. Besides, if you’re switching jobs every so often as you’re supposed to, you’ve rolled out of any crappy plan and into an IRA, where you can blow yourself up.

    I see a bunch of college-educated people- and not just the sob stories- without a clue. Financial illiteracy may be a great failing of our educational system but- leaving aside that it is a rigged game run by insurance companies brokerages banks puppetmasters financial institutions with vested interest in our illeteracy- that is still no excuse for people refusing to take charge of their own destiny.

    Regardless of whether you are that C student whose head started throbbing when you walked into the 401k plan meeting, you have your whole career to figure it out. Besides, you don’t have much skin in the game at the start, so the mistakes won’t hurt all that much. By the time you have a quarter-million and up in your savings, you should have figured out that the nest egg is more important than the job- when was it not?- and divide your time accordingly.

  5. rj chicago says:

    Is this a follow on to a Frontline piece from a decade ago? Here is the link – this after UAL filed bankruptcy and the resulting PBGC ‘bailout’ of its employees – if you can call it that!!!

  6. lelford says:

    Great look at a few of the tricks of the trade which are usually kept quite secret and hidden from consumer view.

    Nice job for this doc to have figured it out and presented it so well. Next steps are for consumers to recognize the tricks as being deliberately deceptive, and quite contrary to the advertised promises of the industry, and to begin to demand their money back. (deliberate deception is one definition of fraud) It is a trend that is developing (slowly and quietly due to gag orders) here in Canada, and consumers who are informed are winning compensation based on easily demonstrated misrepresentation and “suitability” failures in the choice or the way most investments are sold. This video hits it a bit harder than the PBS, but not as well done of course. First three minutes will give you the basics. Good luck towards getting your money back.

  7. bigal says:

    How is an investor able to tell if their hired fiduciary is a 100% loyal fiduciary or is the douche in fiduciary? At what point can an investor sue their fiduciary? Does it have to egregious to sue?

  8. financeboomer says:

    I saw this documentary and thought it was great. I wish they had included a description of training for the financial designations in the video or on the PBS website, though.
    Boomers, Markets & Money