FRONTLINE | "The Retirement Gamble" - Is the financial services industry draining your retirement funds?

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FRONTLINE | “The Retirement Gamble” – Is the financial services industry draining your retirement funds?

FRONTLINE | “The Retirement Gamble” – Is the financial services industry draining your retirement funds?

FrontLine-

If you’ve been watching any commercial television lately, you are well aware that the financial services industry is very busy running expensive ads imploring us to worry about our retirement futures. Open a new account today, they say.

They are not wrong that we should be doing something: America is facing a retirement crisis. One in three Americans has no retirement savings at all. One in two reports that they can’t save enough. On top of that, we are living longer, and health care costs, as we all know, are increasing.

But, as I found when investigating the retirement planning and mutual funds industries in The Retirement Gamble, which airs tonight on FRONTLINE, those advertisements are imploring us to start saving for one simple reason. Retirement is big business — and very profitable. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the more we save into the industry’s financial products, the more money they make in fees and commissions trading our hard-earned cash. And as long as they don’t run away with our money or invest it in a Ponzi scheme, they have little in the way of accountability to us when something goes wrong. And even then it can be hard to fight back.

Big banks, brokerages, insurance companies and other financial service providers operate under something called a suitability standard — which says they don’t have to give you the best advice, just advice that isn’t too egregiously terrible.

[FRONTLINE]

Watch The Retirement Gamble on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Watch The Retirement Gamble on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Watch The Retirement Gamble on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Watch The Retirement Gamble on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

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