Can Obama’s myRA Help Americans Avoid a Retirement Crisis?

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President Barack Obama is apparently as sick and tired of Congress as the American public is. Calling out the legislature for its destructive divisiveness during his 2014 State of the Union address, the president said that “wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”

He wasn’t messing around. Later in his address, Obama summoned the specter of retirement and alluded to the fact that millions of Americans are woefully unprepared. “Today, most workers don’t have a pension. A Social Security check often isn’t enough on its own. And while the stock market has doubled over the last five years, that doesn’t help folks who don’t have 401ks,” he said.

“That’s why, tomorrow, I will direct the Treasury to create a new way for working Americans to start their own retirement savings,” he continued. “MyRA. It’s a new savings bond that encourages folks to build a nest egg. MyRA guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in.”

Less than 24 hours later, the president gave a speech at a Pennsylvania steel plant, after which he signed the order to create the myRA program, directing the Treasury Department to begin the process of selecting a private-sector money management firm to run the program. The process will begin within the next few weeks and should be completed in the coming months.

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