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 .


Christine C. Marcks
Prudential Retirement

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    Apr 20 2012: One type of barrier to effective retirement planning is psychological -- we humans procrastinate, undervalue the importance of events happening in the future, and cling to familiar habits. Our Center has an interactive tool -- "Curious Behaviors that Can Run Your Retirement" -- designed to educate people about these behavioral barriers. It's available at: http://fsp.bc.edu/curious-behaviors-that-can-ruin-your-retirement/
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      Apr 20 2012: conscious decisions are procrastinated. but exactly as you have said, habits are a big factor. if there is a widespread behavior in society to save, young people will save too.

      this is why it is important to make the issue of saving central, debated and personally taken care of. it should be a part of everyone's life. as opposed to delegated to governments.
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        Apr 22 2012: Krisztian,

        Good point about saving. It needs to be instilled in people at a young age and conducted as a routine activity that everyone naturally engages in. And saving has two key advantages -- the familiar one of helping you accrue assets to tap later and the less familiar one of reducing your consumption today so that your expectations for how much you need to consume are kept in check.

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          Apr 22 2012: that observation about keeping consumption in check is spot on. savings can serve as a shock-absorber in the unlucky case of a sudden downturn. it can even out a smaller bump. and it can give time to adopt to a greater change.

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