401k Savings Plans Are For Suckers

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A new study out there reaffirms what everyone in HR knows: retirement planning in America really sucks.

If people save in the first place, which is less common than you think, their best intentions are thwarted. They often tap into their retirement plans to deal with problems like medical expenses, credit card debt, home repairs or college tuition for their kids.

Here is one way to fix this:

  • Pay your employees more money.

Here’s another way:

  • Support single-payer healthcare in America.

Oh wait, here’s another:

  • Stop rewarding executives at the expense of employees.

And another:

  • Consider providing flexible work arrangements so employees can work from home and stop spending money on gas, lunch, crappy business casual clothing and dry cleaning.

And how about another:

  • Rent or purchase your commercial real estate near bike-friendly roads. Encourage your workers to ditch their expensive cars and use public transportation to get to/from work.

One more:

  • Pay people more money.

Oh wait, I wrote that. But it’s true. The rise in executive compensation versus ‘chumpy employee compensation‘ is a crime.

Some HR professionals are horrified by the way you manage your money, but I feel your pain. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip. So I have a challenge for HR: Want your employees to invest in retirement? Pay them more so they can take care of the basics and then invest. Until then, 401ks are for suckers…

…and for people who can afford to think about the future.

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