When Chad Parks and his film crew set off across the country to film "Broken Eggs: The Looming Retirement Crisis in America," a documentary about the three-legged stool of retirement, they found out they were using the wrong metaphor.
“For certain generations that might be appropriate. People in their 60s may have a three-legged stool: personal savings, pension and Social Security, but when you move down through the ages into people in their 50s, 40s, 30s, 20s, some people commented that it is really a pogo stick,” said Parks, the founder and CEO of The Online 401(k).
One of the overriding themes was that, “people are realizing that they need to take personal responsibility. It is not up to the government to take care of their problems, or their place of employment to do so. The challenge, I think, is that just because you know what you need to do, doesn’t mean you will do it.”
Another theme was retirement at age 65. Parks and his crew wanted to find out where that arbitrary number came from because there are some people who believe that “magically, at age 65, something is supposed to happen,” he said. One person they interviewed said that the age of 65 used to be two years past the average life expectancy at the time, which was 63, so Social Security was originally designed as a safety net for widows and orphans. “It was not meant to be a main pillar of retirement,” he said.