Six Ways the U.S. Government Can Improve Retirement

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The United States government has been working on improving its citizens’ retirement for many years. The Social Security program was established back in 1935. However, there are always ways that the government can do more to help its citizens plan for and enjoy a comfortable retirement. Here are five ways that the U.S. government can improve retirement:

Retirement plans

Small businesses are often disadvantaged when offering retirement plans because they don’t have the same resources as larger businesses. The government could help level the playing field by making it easier and more affordable for small businesses to offer retirement plans to their employees. This would go a long way toward increasing the number of Americans with access to employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Additionally, self-employment is at an all-time high right now, and these people may struggle to retire because they do not have access to retirement plans through their employers. The government can help give retirement plans for self-employed to ensure that they get a smooth transition to retirement. This can be done by consulting with retirement advisors and developing a plan that’s unique to these people.

Saving money for the future

Automatic IRAs

Only about half of American workers have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. One way to help increase retirement savings for everyone is to establish automatic Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) for all workers. An automatic IRA would deposit a portion of each worker’s paycheck into their IRA account. This would make it easy for people to save for retirement without thinking about it or taking action themselves.

Encourage Saving

Many Americans don’t save enough for retirement because they either don’t know how much they should be saving or don’t think they can afford to keep more. However, the government could encourage Americans to save more through these three ways:

  • Educational campaigns can help inform people about retirement savings and how much they should save based on their age and income.
  • Tax incentives for retirement savings include increasing the limit on contributions to retirement accounts or lowering taxes on withdrawals from retirement accounts.
  • Offering retirement planning resources through government agencies such as Social Security.

Protecting Against Fraud

Unfortunately, retirement savings can be a target for fraudsters who try to scam people out of their hard-earned money. The government can help protect retirees by increasing enforcement against fraudulent activities related to retirement savings. Here are five ways the government can do that:

National Database

The first step to protect against fraud is to have a nationwide database to track and monitor retirement accounts. This would enable the government to spot any suspicious activities or patterns indicating fraud.

Stronger penalties

Fraudsters need to know that there will be severe consequences for their actions, so the government can increase penalties for those found guilty of retirement fraud.

Improved education

Educating both retirees and financial professionals about potential scams and how to prevent them can go a long way toward stopping fraud before it happens.

Greater oversight

Government agencies such as the SEC regularly review and monitor retirement accounts can help catch any fraudulent activity early on.

Reporting Fraud

The government can improve resources for reporting suspected fraud and assist in recovering lost funds due to fraud. This can include providing a designated agency or hotline for reporting retirement fraud and offering support to those who have been victims of fraud.

Increase Social Security Benefits

Social Security is one of the essential programs for ensuring a comfortable retirement for Americans, but the benefits currently aren’t enough to live on alone. The government could help improve retirement security for seniors by increasing Social Security benefits so that they’re more in line with the cost of living.

Improve access to affordable housing

Home prices have increased throughout the years, making it hard for retirees to afford to house. Many seniors want nothing more than to downsize and move into a smaller, more affordable home once they retire, but they can’t always find housing that meets their needs at a price they can afford. The government could help improve access to affordable housing by providing targeted assistance to seniors who want to downsize but can’t find affordable options in their area. Here are three ways the government can do that:

  • Funding for affordable housing developments specifically for seniors.
  • Providing financial assistance or incentives for private developers to build affordable housing options for seniors.
  • Creating partnerships with local governments and organizations to address the need for affordable senior housing in a community.

The United States government has been working on improving retirement for its citizens for many years, but there’s always room for improvement. However, by following the tips above, the government can help ensure that all Americans have a comfortable and secure retirement.

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