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The Three-Legged Stool and The Pogo Stick



Chad Parks is Founder, President, and CEO of Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, formerly The Online 401(k), has helped savers contribute over $1.4 billion towards their retirement since 1999. As one of the first flat-fee-for-service small business plan providers in the nation, Ubiquity delivers peace-of-mind with zero hidden-fees in the fine print. The company is headquartered in San Francisco with satellite offices from coast-to-coast. Read More...

Parks started out as a broker in the financial services industry by growing a portfolio of individual clients at San Francisco’s Piper Jaffray. Driven by a desire to better serve his clients while anticipating the phasing out of the traditional broker model, Parks left Piper Jaffray in 1997 to obtain his CFP designation and start his own fee-for-service, independent financial planning practice, Retirement & Education Group, Inc.

In his financial planning practice, Parks came across many small business owners looking for cost-effective and quality retirement plans. Finding the small business market highly neglected and underserved, Parks saw the opportunity and took it by launching The Online 401(k). Today, Ubiquity serves more than 7,000 small business customers in 50 states, providing solutions both directly and through partners, such as Zenefits, Charles Schwab & Co. and Morningstar, as well as payroll companies, financial planners and CPAs.

Parks has been quoted in many financial services as well as national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fox Business, Yahoo! Finance, USA Today, CNN Money, Bloomberg Wealth Manager, Business Week, Entrepreneur and Plan Sponsor for his considerable work performed in the space of small business retirement as well as his foray into documentaries with his independently produced Broken Eggs Film, released in 2014.

With his extensive work in Washington DC in getting legislation passed in order to stop the practice of hiding fees in the fine print, Parks has become the go-to expert on public policy as it relates to 401(k), as well as the looming retirement crisis in America, and what we can do to fix it.


June 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm
Retirement News


The three-legged stool of retirement is the metaphor we chose for our documentary Broken Eggs Film — The Looming Retirement Crisis in America.

The three legs are:

  1. The Pension Plan
  2. Social Security
  3. Personal Savings through 401(k)’s and IRA’s

The idea is that in combination, an individual will have diversified and balanced sources of income in their retirement years.

But what we found is that our metaphor is flawed. It implies equal weighting for each of these sources of income and we found that It does not apply to the majority.

For people in their 70’s and 60’s, the three-legged stool is probably accurate. But for every decade of the ages, people in their 50’s, 40’s, 30’s and 20’s, those legs begin to disappear.

Pensions are the first to go to the point where they do not exist.

Social Security is next, shrinking as a percentage of retirement income needed, to the point where for some, it is not to be planned on.

Finally, personal savings remains, and has become for many the largest source of income replacement.

From three-legged stool to a pogo stick.

And for those who don’t or can’t save, forget about even a pogo stick.

The question is where is all of this headed? What does this mean to us as a society? When will we wake up and see the storm ahead? What can each of the age groups do to take personal responsibility for themselves?

We have been trying to make a difference for more than 13 years, beating this drum, trying to get your attention.

Are you listening?