Over the last three years, I’ve been meeting with clients of mine who are small business owners, as well as their employees, to talk about retirement savings. They represent a wide number of industries and occupations, and they have taught me a lot about the retirement readiness of the American people. Specifically, they’ve taught me that Americans are generally not ready to retire. It’s a frightening notion, especially when you consider just how many Americans are soon reaching retirement age. But I’ve also learned something else: There’s something we can do about this problem, and I’ve made it my mission.
The Retirement Crisis
Let’s cut to the chase: There is a retirement crisis in this country. Baby Boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day by some estimates, and many of them are reaching retirement age without the savings they need. As more of that generation reaches retirement age, it’s going to continue getting worse as some 401(k) plans are proving to fall short of helping the employees they are meant to help get retirement ready.
The people who are facing retirement age without the savings they need come from many walks of life. I think back to a gentleman I met with in rural Oregon, a blue collar worker, who had only $50 in his retirement account. Only $50, and he was already in his early 70’s at the time. And I think about the woman I met who’d put her savings into starting her own business, and was more focused on growing it than on saving for retirement. I also remember the countless employees I’ve met with who thought they were doing everything right, who had enrolled and were contributing, but had far less saved than they needed.
My best guess is you have someone in your own life who fits one of these descriptions, or who, for whatever reason, simply isn’t ready for retirement. That scares me, but it also motivates me, because I believe that many people who aren’t on track for retirement could be if they were to receive the education they need to make better decisions.
The Solution: Education and Real Help
Today, I’m more motivated than ever to help individuals achieve retirement on their terms. I’ve built Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions with each of these people in mind who need education and support to make smart decisions for their futures. Make no mistake this is unique to the industry; almost all of our competitors offering retirement savings help make at least some part of their money by selling another product, from payroll services to insurance. We have no products to sell. We charge transparent fees and offer investment management and consulting services that our clients can trust.
We make good on this promise by focusing on education – sharing helpful tools and resources for smart retirement planning. We encourage enrollment, making sure employees are making the most of their employer-sponsored retirement benefits. And we meet with employees one-on-one as they go through major life changes to discuss things like social security, contributions, and investments.
It’s my firm belief that it’s never too late for any employee to figure out how to get retirement ready, and I feel that it’s my responsibility to make sure the employees I serve understand the best way to chart their path to the retirement they want.