By Mark Germain via Iris.xyz

When I say retirement, what comes to mind?

The image of a greyed hair couple walking hand in hand on a picturesque beach. Sitting on an outdoor, wooden park bench holding hands and getting fresh air. There’s nothing wrong with that except for someone like me, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) with over thirty years of experience helping hundreds of people make important life decisions aka retirement decisions, the crystal ball is anything but sandy beaches and afternoon strolls.

Truth be told, there was a time when discussions about retirement were a lot simpler and easier to project—create an Excel file, build simple arithmetic formulas, and plug in the numbers. If by chance my clients decided to sell the ranch, I could easily change the values and do the calculations by hand if need be. Today, not only is the retirement discussion different but the savings/investment vehicles themselves are a clear departure from what they once were.

To illustrate, I would like to call your attention to recent data from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Their survey compared workers with pension coverage by type of plan for years 1983, 1998, and 2016. In 1983, 62 percent of private-sector workers were covered by a pension plan at their place of employment. In 2016, that number plummeted to 17 percent representing a 45-point difference. A similar phenomenon can be seen from the 401(k) perspective. In 1983, only 12 percent of private-sector workers were covered by defined contribution plan at work. In 2016, the number grew to 73 percent, a percentage increase of 508 percent.

Click here to read the full story on Iris.xyz.