Misleading statistics on the retirement crisis

The issue of retirement savings in the United States needs more sensible discussion and fewer sensationalist headlines such as The Retirement Crisis is Much Worse Than You Think and Fears of a Retirement Crisis are Overblown - and These Numbers Prove It. Unfortunately, discussions of this topic are rife with simplistic and misleading statistical arguments. … Continue reading Misleading statistics on the retirement crisis

Is it useful to discuss the ‘average American’?

In discussions of all sorts of public policy, it is common to see references to the average American or the average household. It seems to me that the entire idea of the average American household may be fairly meaningless. About 33% of Americans have a college education. The average incomes of people with college degrees … Continue reading Is it useful to discuss the ‘average American’?

Rethinking earnings and consumption through life

In the United States, many people are re-evaluating the traditional model of working and saving through life. The traditional model is that you get an education and then work full-time until you exit the workforce entirely and live on a pension, Social Security, and/or savings. In recent years, the Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE) … Continue reading Rethinking earnings and consumption through life

‘IRAs for all’ vs. college debt forgiveness

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have proposed massive college debt forgiveness programs. I am not in favor of these proposals, largely because of the general unfairness of having taxpayers subsidize people who have attended expensive private colleges or made other costly personal education choices. This is unfair to families that scrimped and saved or made … Continue reading ‘IRAs for all’ vs. college debt forgiveness

An optimist’s view of the future of work

Today's workers face challenges that previous generations did not. First, a diminishing fraction of company earnings goes to workers. Second, real job security is largely a thing of the past. Third, employers provide less generous benefits than they used. Workers bear an increasing share of the costs of healthcare and traditional pensions have been replaced … Continue reading An optimist’s view of the future of work

Thoughts on the Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE) movement

The Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE) movement is much in the news these days. You can hardly go to a financial website without seeing a headline about someone who "retired" in their 30's. There is, not surprisingly, plenty of debate about what distinguishes retirement from being a professional blogger who writes about FIRE. Much … Continue reading Thoughts on the Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE) movement

Key economic issues in the 2020 presidential election and beyond

As the candidates get going for 2020, there are a number of important themes that need to be discussed in this campaign and, indeed, that will remain significant for the foreseeable future. Three of these crucial concerns are: HealthcareCollege costs and debtRetirement savings These are the 'big 3' items for which people need substantial savings. … Continue reading Key economic issues in the 2020 presidential election and beyond