The baby boomer generation will be long on life expectancy but short on income. Amid vanishing pensions and faltering 401(k) plans, FRONTLINE investigates how middle-class Americans might fare in their retirement years. (Aired 2006)
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Two main strategies for funding retirement are lifetime pensions and 401(k)-style savings plans, but both are in trouble. Buffeted by pension cuts, corporate bankruptcies, and stock market crashes, most boomers can now expect to be working into their retirement years. In the 2006 documentary, Can Your Afford to Retire?, FRONTLINE correspondent Hedrick Smith investigates the financial crisis and what middle class Americans face in retirement.
Explore additional reporting on "Can You Afford to Retire?" on our website: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/retirement/
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FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Park Foundation; and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation, and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.
Prologue - 00:00
The Decline of Corporate Pensions - 01:03
How Company Bankruptcy Impacts Pensions - 06:22
The Pros & Cons of 401(k) Plans - 24:22
“Shifting From Lifetime Pensions to Lifetime Work” - 39:31
Credits - 53:05