5 Key Takeaways: “Planning for 75 at 25: Saving for Retirement and How Policy Affects You” in Retirement and Social Security

5 Key Takeaways: “Planning for 75 at 25: Saving for Retirement and How Policy Affects You”

It’s anticipated that the Social Security trust funds will be depleted by 2034. Meanwhile, two-thirds of Americans aged 21 to 32 have nothing saved for retirement. There’s a growing bipartisan consensus on strengthening our nation’s retirement policy, and Congress must act soon to avoid a crisis.

The Funding Our Future campaign, an alliance of over 30 research and private-sector partners dedicated to making retirement security possible for all Americans, was launched this summer to break down the barriers to improving retirement security and to urge policymakers to prioritize strengthening retirement policies.

This week, Funding Our Future hosted “Planning for 75 at 25: Saving for Retirement and How Policy Affects You,” an event for Hill staffers to gain insights on how to save for retirement and influence retirement policy. Attendees heard from leading experts, including Ric Edelman, Founder and Executive Chairman of Edelman Financial Services, and Charles Blahous and Robert Reischauer, former Public Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds.

Here are the experts’ five key takeaways:

  1. Don’t leave free money on the table: Take full advantage of the 5 percent government match on your Thrift Savings Plan and increase your contribution with each pay raise.
  2. Start saving now: Federal employment offers many benefits for retirees, but some of those may not be as generous down the road. It’s important to take advantage and plan for your future while you can.
  3. There are four simple steps to maximizing your retirement wealth:
    1. Diversify your portfolio, as asset performance varies year-to-year.
    2. When you’re young, maximize returns with long-term investments in the stock market.
    3. Rebalance to help preserve your portfolio and to mitigate risk.
    4. Take advantage of low-cost investment opportunities (e.g., the Thrift Savings Plan).
  4. Congress must act now to avoid a retirement crisis: The magnitude of the challenge facing American retirement is large, and delaying action only means harder choices down the road, particularly when it comes to Social Security.
  5. You are in a unique position to influence policy: There is strong support for bipartisan solutions to the retirement crisis, including the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act, as well as four recently introduced bipartisan bills.

Here you can find 10 key takeaways for the long-term fiscal trajectory of Social Security and Medicare from the Bipartisan Policy Center’s 2018 Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ Report.


Full List of Expert Panelists:


Event Host:

Shai Akabas

Director of Economic Policy, Bipartisan Policy Center


Funding Our Future: Building Blocks of Financial Stability:

Jamie Hopkins 
Associate Professor, The American College of Financial Services
Co-Director, The American College’s New York Life Center for Retirement Income

Mary Beth Franklin, Moderator
Contributing Editor, InvestmentNews


In Need of Action: The Future of Social Security and Medicare – A discussion with the Former Public Trustees 

Marc Goldwein, Moderator
Senior Vice President and Senior Policy Director, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Charles Blahous
J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Chair and Senior Research Strategist, Mercatus Center, George Mason University
Former Public Trustee, Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds

Robert Reischauer
Distinguished Institute Fellow and President Emeritus, Urban Institute
Former Public Trustee, Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds


What I wish I had Known at 25: The Keys to Financial Planning 

Ric Edelman
Founder and Executive Chairman, Edelman Financial Services


Funding Our Future: The Building Blocks of Retirement Security

Ida Rademacher, Moderator
Vice President and Executive Director of the Financial Security Program, Aspen Institute

James Klein
President, American Benefits Council

Monique Morrissey
Economist, Economic Policy Institute

Kathleen Romig
Senior Policy Analyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Andrew Schreiner
Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Fidelity Investments