Getting the right answer to the wrong question isn’t helpful. So I’ve come into Austin to visit with Marlena Lee, a young Ph.D. at the headquarters of Dimensional Fund Advisors. I’ve come to ask how she works her way through the complicated problem of retirement savings.
Lee is part of the brain trust Dimensional Fund Advisors has assembled for its entry into the place where most of us save and hold our money: defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s. I’ve come because the dismal failure of 401(k) plans has been widely trumpeted over the last year in spite of the fact that the poverty rate among seniors has been dropping steadily for more than three decades. And also in spite of recent and encouraging research by Lee.
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