Oklahoma State University Study Finds Retirement Education Counter- Productive

By Record, Journal | THE JOURNAL RECORD, August 26, 2008 | Go to article overview

Oklahoma State University Study Finds Retirement Education Counter- Productive


Record, Journal, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Educational efforts by the federal government and private sector partners to encourage American workers to save for retirement are counter-productive, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs.

"We can't assume people are concerned with their retirement when it is still 40 years away," said Josh Wiener, professor and head of the OSU Department of Marketing and co-principal investigator for the study. "Retirement seems too abstract and too far off for people to care."

The study discusses a savings crisis, with only two in three Americans saving for retirement in 2007. The study revealed that efforts to address the savings crisis have failed because Americans get overwhelmed with the thought of saving.

Wiener and co-principal investigator Tabitha Doescher, president of Cimarron Research Services, suggest that successful pro-savings communications should focus on the positive instead of the fear of retirement, be rich in imagery instead of numerical calculations, ask people to put aside only a small amount and then gradually increase that amount, and emphasize that others are saving and approve of saving. …

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