Monday, May 08, 2006

Retirement Questionnaire for FRONTLINE

Posted on request--Reply by Wednesday, May 10, if interested:

I'm a researcher for FRONTLINE, the documentary show on PBS, and I'm currently working on an article for our Web site (www.pbs.or/frontline) about Generations X and Y and their views on retirement. I know it's a long way off for all of us, but the decisions our elected leaders are making now will dramatically affect whether many of us can retire comfortably when we want to or must continue working for as long as we're able.

So, I'd like to speak with a broad range of young people (ages 18-35), and use their stories as examples in my article. If you're interested, please answer the short list of questions below, and return your responses to me at ( by the evening of Wednesday, May 10th. I'll contact you by e-mail for any follow up questions and to let you know if I'll be including your information in my article.

The article will appear on the FRONTLINE companion Web site to a new film by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith titled "Can You Afford to Retire?" (May 16, 2006). Here's a brief synopsis:

"The baby boomer generation is headed for a shock as it hits retirement: boomers will be long on life expectancy but short on income. In addition to Social Security, the pillars of retirement income for Americans have been either lifetime corporate pensions or employee-contribution plans such as 401Ks. But both retirement strategies are in trouble. Buffeted by pension cuts, corporate bankruptcies, and the 2001-2002 stock market crash, most boomers now expect to be working into their retirement years."

NOTE: Please e-mail your responses to

Name (first/last)*:
Occupation (please provide title as well as a short description):
Location (city/state):

When do you plan to retire?

How do you plan to fund your retirement (savings, employer pension, 401(k), part-time work)?

How much money do you think you'll need to pay for your retirement?

What is the current balance in your retirement account?

If you have a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, how is your money allocated (stocks, mutual funds, bonds, etc.)?

What portion of your retirement do you think will come from Social Security?

How do you plan to pay for health care in retirement?

Which type of retirement plan would you rather your employer offer: a lifetime pension or a 401(k)? (With a traditional lifetime pension, an employee who works for a company a number of years receives a set amount of money every year for the rest of his life. With 401(k) accounts, an employee contributes a portion of his salary to an investment account, which pays out in a lump sum when he retires. Some employers will match a portion of the employee's contributions.

* If you are not comfortable being identified by your full name or your first name, please indicate why and how you would like to be identified in our article.

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