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‘Their’ Ridiculous Approach To Retirement

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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.

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July 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm
Retirement News

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Save or else

There are forces at work that think the retirement system is broken (401(k)’s, IRA’s). ‘They’ say that government knows best, and that ‘big brother’ should step in and take care of you.

‘Their’ theory is simple. A voluntarily contributed to retirement system is not working. People will not and do not save enough or anything at all for their future needs.

There is some truth to that. Many people are not saving, or if they are, not enough.

For the first time in history of modern humans, the experiment of not having to work until you drop has been playing out, and we are entering new territory.

‘They’ do have good intentions. ‘They’ want people to have a chance at a dignified and enjoyable retirement. Nothing wrong with that.

But ‘They’ are one track minded. What about those who are saving? Over 70% of employees who have access to retirement plan at work do save, and have saved literally trillions. That’s the key; access to a plan.

The Rub — Us vs. Them

‘They’ propose to force us to save 7% or more of our income. ‘They’ want to put that into a government run program for our future benefit. ‘They’ want to guarantee us a future. ‘They’ think they can do it better than us. ‘They’ have the answer.

Wait, aren’t we already doing that?

Does sound familiar doesn’t it? Sounds like Social Security, but it is not. The Social Security story has played out, and we see where that has gotten us.

Remember Social Security was never meant to be the main pillar of retirement; it was designed to be a safety net for widows and orphans. But all of ‘Them’ before us knew better and kept expanding and expanding its benefits to where we are today. And with those expanding benefits, came expanding expectations.

What should we call this? Social Security 2.0?

We as a nation already spend 57% of our budget on entitlement programs, and projections show that percentage exceeding 100% by 2025. Sounds like a long time doesn’t it. But, that’s only 13 years! 1999 was 13 years ago. Still feel like partying?

I’ll take the free market over government run programs any day.

With the free market, we can:

  • Do our homework and make informed decisions
  • Benefit from competition and innovation
  • Hire and fire providers with ease
  • Exercise greater control over our own destiny

With government we can:

  • Outsource our responsibilities into the hands of a few
  • Hope that ‘They’ will have the political will to do the right thing, over many decades
  • Trust that our assets set aside won’t be ‘borrowed’ to scratch an immediate itch
  • Believe that someone else will take care of us

The Solution?

So what is the solution? I agree that for the benefit of us all, we should institute mandatory retirement savings.

How?

Blend the power of the government to mandate what is good for us with the power of the free market to deliver superior solutions.

Take what we have learned from unions, pension plans, Social Security, and the voluntary retirement system, and re-imagine what is possible.

Can we do that before its too late? Let me know your thoughts on this.

(This is a hot topic, and one that we explore in our film: Broken Eggs Film – The Looming Retirement Crisis in America. Watch for the teaser in September 2012, and its full release in 2013.)