By the end of 2018, Americans owed more than $4 trillion — a figure big enough to send a shiver down almost anyone's spine.

So with that kind of debt hanging over our heads, it's no surprise that many plan in this new year to pay down their balances.

And then there's the need to save for that ever-receding goal of retirement, which can be tough when payments are due on the house, the car, the sheepskin hanging on the wall, the cast on one's leg or the latest refill of the diabetes prescription.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.