Lauren Strayer

Recent Articles

The Pension Pinch

For the magazine’s 20 th Anniversary, the September issue of SmartMoney has a long section recapping changes in American personal finance -- and on what they got right and wrong -- over the last two decades. Their historical review starts with the blunt question: Who’s responsible for your retirement? You are. It would be more accurate to add, however: "You're responsible and you're all alone in an industry built to make money for itself, with few protections for your savings." As SmartMoney explains: . . . .the biggest change of all may be the demise of the pension plan. With the help of new federal laws and provisions passed in the 1970s, private-sector companies have been gradually shedding the costs and risks associated with funding their employees’ retirements –- a helpful boost to their bottom lines. ... In the absence of those paycheck security blankets, more and more Americans are being asked to “own their retirement” -- that is, to fund and manage accounts that will be used...