CHICAGO — The more things change, the more they stay the same. So goes that old saying illustrating an important truth in many aspects of life, but not in retirement planning.
The world of retirement planning has undergone many drastic changes in recent years, most of which would appear to be here to stay. Perhaps the most significant of those is the gradual disappearance of the corporate defined benefit plan.
A generation ago, in the days of generous corporate retirement plans, spending an entire working career with one employer was a common experience; these days, not so much. Today, many if not most of us will have more than one employer during our working careers.
Some of those employers may provide one of the new retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and some may not. In those cases, we have the option of opening individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to help save money for our retirement years. As a result, over a working career, many people wind up with retirement dollars spread out in several different accounts.