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 18 2012: I am not expecting to retire, ever. I don't believe pensions will still be available in 21 years, when it would be time for me to receive one. And even if they are, mine will be too small to be useful.

    Instead, I am taking my leisure time as I go along, by working part-time. I have only worked two-and-a-half years full-time in a working life of around thirty years. Currently, I work 2.5 days per week, and enjoy more time with my friends and family, doing many of the things that other people wait until they're 65 to do. Of course my children and I have to live modestly to be able to afford this part-time working pattern, but we do fine: I have bought my little house outright, I run a car, we have holidays, and we have everything we need - and more.

    Retirement is such a precarious notion. I know people who stay in jobs they hate, dreaming about a happy future while they live in a miserable present. I know some who waited 30 years to 'live their dream' and found themselves too ill to enjoy it, or too tired, or (to put it bluntly) too dead. How much better to begin your retirement when you're still young enough to enjoy it!
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      Apr 20 2012: I like that concept of part time work , to enjoy what you have in the present . With the possibility of having to work for longer as needed. A bit like having your cake and eating it.
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      Apr 25 2012: I am of a generation that just heard that my retirement age has been extended to 67. I have no doubt as the deadline looms that it will creep ever forward.

      I like your thought that the concept of work - then retirement - has to undergo a fundamental shift in perception. I also plan on staying active as long as my health allows. I fill my days with volunteer activities and hobbies that I am passionate about. I enjoy all my days including the salaried ones. I suspect I will carry this same vitality and optimism through my sixties.

      The concept that one is to work for others for a peculiar and particular life-sentence, deferring living for oneself afterwards has got to go. I suspect if I do officially retire, I will carry on hobbies and interests that may not provide a STEADY income but will fill my days.

      To answer prudential, I think it is unfair to suggest that the vital young invest ever more for an extended

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