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From Here to Security: How Workplace Savings Can Keep America's Promise Hardcover – September 18, 2017
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
Robert L. Reynolds is President and Chief Executive Officer of both Putnam Investments and Great-West Financial, which owns Empower Retirement, America's second largest provider of retirement services with over 8 million participants. He has been a driving force for innovation in retirement services and policy for decades and played a central role in the rise of the 401(k) industry during his years at Fidelity investments where he served as Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. He has earned multiple industry honors over the years, including Fund Leader of the Year in 2010 for the strategic improvements he initiated at Putnam.
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In recent decades, a whole new group of retirement choices has provided workers with many supplemental vehicles like 401k plans, life cycle funds, QDIAs, workplace savings, industrial stock purchase plans, DRIPS, birthright retirement accounts and annuities both fixed and variable.
The idea of setting up a retirement at birth account is enticing because these accounts would grow over a 65-70 year period with interest compounded. There are other means of growing a retirement nest egg substantially with investments in crypto-currencies or in low debt currencies like the New Jersey Pound.
"From Here To Security" by Robert L. Reynolds is a fairly complete work on how to grow the retirement savings to an amount consistent with a fully secure retirement.
This book is around 200 pages, but repeats itself so much it really could be around 100 pages. It's also double spaced and written in large letters. So paying list price would be absolutely ridiculous, and paying half price is still on the pricey side. That said it's an easy read, well-written, and you can read through it periodically if you are interested in the subject. The weaknesses...
Are you a fan of everyone in the United States being forced to pay for health insurance? Then you'll probably like the author's point in this book. He wants everyone to AUTOMATICALLY be enrolled in a 401k, and have to opt out EVERY YEAR if they don't want to be included. While this would be a good idea for the average person, since most people aren't enrolled at all, it's a level of control over people's lives that makes me uncomfortable.
What if you were a real estate genius? Would you really want to have to opt out of 401k every single year? What if you were unemployed? Unemployment checks are taxable income. The last thing you want to be worried about when you are trying to pay for food and rent is having to keep opting out of a retirement plan.
Likewise, the author of this book is an executive of a company that sells retirement services. So NATURALLY he would like the automatic option to be managed funds (such as a lifecycle fund) where companies like his get to charge you management fees to give you worse returns than an index fund, and since it's an automatic option for EVERYONE said retirement companies would stand to make millions if not billions of dollars.
So yeah, there's some good ideas here. But they are far from impartial. To someone who's spent his working life selling retirement funds, OF COURSE retirement funds are the way to go. But if security and the future of the country was REALLY what the author cared about, he'd be pushing for safer investments as a default option (like government bonds that pay interest AND give the government money to pay for social security). So yeah, this guy is a financial services guy, not a government expert, economist, personal finance expert, or even someone I would trust with my investments. So take his ideas with more than a grain of salt and enjoy the read.