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 26 2012: The most important factor is communication, and all forms of media can be used to educate. We need more objective information. Unfortunately, our government is the largest impediment. The Federal Reserve's policy of artificially repressing long-term interest rates to boost short-term economic results in an election year, and to encourage more home purchases, is disastrous for savers and for pension plans. In past economic recoveries, long-term interest rates were about 5% higher than they are now. That equates to $20,000 in additional income each year for someone with a $400,000 retirement nest egg. Pension plans are facing enormous shortfalls in funding as a result of these lower rates also, impacting government and private sector plans which need to now require higher contributions and reduce benefits. This is not being effectively communicated. The good news is that it will not last forever, long-term rates should start to rise in the next couple of years. How do we convince our government to be more honest about the downside to its policies?

    Ron Beasley
    Investment Advisor
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      Apr 26 2012: suppose the interest rate goes up. how will the US government renew the maturing t bills/notes/bonds? not even massive cuts, which are unprecedented, could help fast enough. what can prevent a default?

      and here we are, on topic. in your retirement plan, how much t-stuff you have? in case of default, how much you lose?
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        Apr 27 2012: That is a separate, but valid, issue. It will be tricky to unwind all that low interest rate debt, and the fed's balance sheet. I hold no treasuries, they are one of the worst investments one could make at this time, in my opinion.

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