TED Conversations

Closing Statement from Christine C. Marcks, Prudential Retirement

Thank you all for a dynamic conversation over the past three weeks around how we -- as individuals, as financial services providers and as a society -- can help address the challenge of retirement as people live longer. TED Conversations is a new forum for us, and we found your comments and this experience very insightful.

I believe there are concrete steps people can take to better prepare for their retirement. For starters, workers can improve their savings and investing behavior. Secondly, participants in workplace plans such as 401(k)'s should try to include some sort of guaranteed income component in their retirement planning.

We will also continue this conversation in other forums, and will add to the national debate through white papers on our company's Research & Perspectives site, http://research.prudential.com/view/page/rp .

Sincerely

Christine C. Marcks
President,
Prudential Retirement

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    Apr 20 2012: It has been very interesting to see how this conversation has progressed over the last 10 days. Your perspectives on lifestyle in retirement, or for that matter, lifestyle decisions made in the present that will affect one's retirement have been great for me to hear. But, I wonder, when is the last time we assessed if we are on the right track towards having "enough" (which I realize is very subjective) to afford the retirement we envision? Who are we asking for help or having discussions with about this topic?

    Planning for the retirement demands that we not wait until that day is imminent. More than ever before, as Kevin Goodwin notes, individuals will have to own the creation of their retirement security, with advice, guidance and solutions from their financial advisors and financial services providers.
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      Apr 20 2012: In an increasingly unstable (Western) world, it is increasingly difficult to see and plan beyond the next year never mind for some time in the future that maybe a never, never land. Can you tell me what percentage of people actually plan for these years?

      I suspect in the developing countries planning for retirement is a luxury of thinking that few engage in. For some planning for old age is limited to having enough children so that one of them will survive and look after me when the time comes.
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        Apr 20 2012: I'd go a bit further, given the fact of increasing instability of the world. I wonder if we aren't living in something like the years of the Weimar Republic. What German in 1928 would have predicted the partition of Germany, the capital (Berlin) in ruins, armies from Russia, France, Britain and the U.S.. occupying the (partitioned) nation, millions dead (counting both troops and civilians). For reasons unknown, humans tend to project the recent past and the present into the future. Incredible! And now we have nuclear proliferation and biological and chemical agents unknown in 1939-1945.... Still, folks try to 'plan for the future' as if it weren't a mostly futile project. I heartily recommend to all Nassim Taleb's work, "The Black Swan", if only for his depiction of starting his life in a peaceful and prosperous Beirut -- and the fantasies the adults surrounding his life entertained about the nation of Lebanon "returning to normal" (as if there were a 'normal'). Great book. L

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