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Interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal about 401k's.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123137714796462913.html

starts:

The stock-market rout has ignited a crisis of confidence for millions of Americans who manage their own retirement savings through 401(k) plans.

After watching her account drop 44% last year, Kristine Gardner, a 35-year-old information-technology project manager in Longview, Wash., feels no sense of security. "There's just no guarantee that when you're ready to retire you're going to have the money," she says. "You either put it in a money market which pays 1%, which isn't enough to retire, or you expose yourself to huge market risk and you can lose half your retirement in one year."
[shrinking nest egg]

Many retirement experts have come to a similar conclusion: The 401(k) system, which has turned countless amateurs like Ms. Gardner into their own pension-fund managers, has serious shortcomings."

(more at link)
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