How are you handling retirement? Is your nest egg broken?
There has been a lot of interest in retirement lately. With Boomers retiring — or wishing they could retire — many of us are considering what’s next. In order to look at where we are, and how we got here, Chad Parks, founder of The Online 401(k), is making a film about retirement.
“We haven’t seen anyone look at retirement in its entirety,” Parks tells me. “How did we get here as a society? And where is this going?”
Parks’ film, Broken Eggs, addresses the issues involved with planning for retirement, and looks at small business and ordinary folks to see how they are handling retirement. Additionally, it looks at the history behind the looming retirement crisis in America.
“Ten or 15 years ago, the media was pointing out that Social Security would have problems,” Parks says. “We wanted to look at this looming crisis. Social Security isn’t designed to take care of you in entirety during retirement.”
As Parks points out, the program was never meant to completely support the participants. Instead, Social Security was meant to supplement. Unfortunately, too few of us plan for the financial future. (My husband, who has a Ph.D. in Psychology, tells me it’s because humans are horrible at accurately assessing long-term consequences.) What does that mean for our economy? And what does it mean on top of the retirement of the Baby Boomers?
“All these Baby Boomers are going into retirement. They will change their spending habits. How will that affect the economy?” Parks continues.
To answers these questions, as well as to look at what’s next, Parks has taken to the road to interview people all over the country. His road trip will be turned into a documentary about retirement.
What Can You Do about Your Retirement?
Ultimately, though, Parks wants to galvanize people to start looking to the future, and take retirement into their own hands. “It’s the notion of taking personal responsibility. More and more, people asked to fund more of their retirement. It’s not up to the government or the company.”
The rise of the 401(k) underscores Parks’ point. Companies no longer offer pensions, and Social Security — which was never meant to be a full retirement plan anyway — is dwindling. If you want to have a successful retirement, you need to recognize that more of the responsibility is falling on your shoulders.
Parks encourages others to get involved. He hopes that his film can provoke discussion about retirement, and bring awareness to the looming retirement crisis in America. “Watch our film and react to it,” he says. “Get in front of your Web cam and share what you think the solution should be.”