The 401(k) Retirement System

Watch the following PBS Frontline video on the financial industry and its involvement in the 401(k) retirement system and read the accompanying publication:

The Retirement Gamble

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Write a minimum of at least three pages on the following questions (size 12 font and double spaced). For each of your answers, I want you to provide clear reasoning detailing your position using concepts and economic logic learned in class and from the textbook.

1) Why is there a market failure in the 401(k) market? (Hint: read chapter 8 and its description of imperfect information)

2) Describe and detail all of the fees/costs associated with a 401(k).

3) Calculate two individuals’ total amount of retirement assets after 30 years of investing using the following two examples to display and articulate the effect of compounded fees on two different individuals’ retirement accounts with the exact same mutual funds. The two mutual funds have the same before the expense rate of return, but one mutual fund charges a higher expense ratio than the other. Describe what effect fees have on the two different individuals’ retirement assets:

(a)
Yearly Savings: $15,000, Inflation Rate: 2%, Rate of Return:(8.15%-.15%=8%), Expense Ratio of Mutual Fund: .15%, Periods: 30 years

(b)
Yearly Savings: $15,000, Inflation Rate: 2%, Rate of Return:(8.15%-.65%=7.50%) (It is lower than example (a) due to the increased expense ratio), Expense Ratio of Mutual Fund: .65%, Periods: 30 years

Use this financial calculator website for examples:

http://www.financeformulas.net/Future-Value-of-Growing-Annuity.html
(Links to an external site.)

4) Describe and come up with your own solution to alleviate the problems with 401(k)s.

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