“[The] lack of savings by our population is going to be one of the biggest crises our country will face,” says Mark Ratay, financial adviser with The Ratay Group and Corporate Retirement Director of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Lisle, Illinois. “But when you go out there and start talking to the masses, all but the most sophisticated investors don’t get it. They’re already confused about saving in a 401(k). So, when you get into the Roth topic, you’re throwing one more thing up in the air to confuse them,” he says.
“Of all the issues that are out there, I’m not sure I would have this at the top of my list, since there are so many variables with Roth. We all know that [participants] are not saving enough, and the issue of lifetime income from a 401(k) account is taking up a good amount of education time,” says Sean Deviney, Financial Planner, Provenance Wealth Advisors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, agreeing with Ratay’s sentiment.
“I do think the Roth is a great option, but it isn’t a ‘problem’; it just hasn’t been adopted as quickly as the industry thought it would be,” he says, adding that the Roth 401(k) option is more of a tax planning tool, not necessarily a better alternative than the traditional 401(k).
At the very least, advisers say, plan sponsors should have the Roth option in their 401(k)s.
The Roth 401(k) is a great option for part of your retirement savings, however it should be discussed with your tax professional. The biggest challenge is and should be increasing savings rate for all American workers.
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