The Retirement Gamble

Source: Marcela Gaviria and Martin Smith, Frontline, April 23, 2013

From the press release:
For most Americans, traditional retirement is now a pipe dream: Six in 10 people believe they’ll have to delay retirement, just 14 percent are very confident they’ll be able to live comfortably once they stop working, and 17 percent believe they’ll never retire at all.

Who is to blame?

The Retirement Gamble …is an eye-opening investigation of a financial services industry that may be draining your retirement savings with every passing year….

FRONTLINE’s investigation reveals:
– On any given street, one household may be paying 10 times as much to invest in a 401(k) as the household next door;
– Over the course of a lifetime, a seemingly low annual fee of 2 percent can reduce what your balance would have been by more than 60 percent—potentially adding years to your working life;
– Popular 401(k) providers often charge a plethora of hidden fees, burying them under opaque names like “Expense Ratio”;
– Many financial advisers are not required to provide advice that is in their clients’ best interest; they are only obligated to give advice that is “suitable”; and
– The best way to maximize your return might be to cut Wall Street out of the equation and invest in low-cost, unmanaged index funds….

Watch The Retirement Gamble Preview on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.