Talking personal finance with Helaine Olen: Part 3

We continued our conversation about personal finance. Parts 1 and 2 can be found here.

Here we discussed the inherent shortcomings of 401(k) accounts, and why the New School’s Teresa Ghilarducci has been called the “Most Dangerous Woman in America.” I lament the public sector’s failure to properly finance its retirement obligations, which undercuts the political case for professionally-managed defined-benefit pensions.

We also discussed how the current system of tax-favored savings vehicles favors the affluent. I discuss my favorite subject: Me. We discussed how my own family righted our financial ship after a crisis using strategies that less-affluent Americans could not realistically emulate. . We tend to judge people as individuals when they respond to adversity. Yet the individuals and families most able to weather such crises are often those in the most advantageous situations.


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