Achieving financial security in challenging times

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Dean Larry Benveniste and Roger Ferguson, president and CEO of TIAA-CREFF

Among the timeless topics of our day, financial security continues to find a place high on the American public’s list of concerns. Goizueta’s Dean Leadership Speaker Series brought Roger Ferguson, president and CEO of TIAA-CREF and former vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, to campus for a discussion tackling a question many are asking. How does one achieve financial security in challenging times?

In a conversational Q&A with Dean Larry Benveniste, Ferguson answered questions about the state of the U.S. economy, the preparedness of the American people for retirement, investing in the stock market, and financial literacy and planning. Ferguson’s insight steams from his current role at TIAA-CREF, the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields and a Fortune 100 financial services organization.  He is also a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and served on its predecessor, the Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

The conversation was inspired by many of the financial concerns affecting Americans today.

What about those unprepared for retirement?

Ferguson commented that a large number of Americans have not adequately planned for retirement, resulting in a “recipe for working longer than planned … and depending on social security more than they wanted to… .” He called the scenario “not ideal” and “disappointing for some,” but identified what he sees as a silver lining, stating that longer life expectancy and health makes working longer grounds for preparing for “a very different type of retirement.”

Is a lack of confidence in the stock market warranted?

“Stocks play a part of a well versified financial portfolio,” said Ferguson, responding that there’s both a need to “be nervous and still invest.” He stated that not everyone has the same propensity for risking large amounts. Those individuals may choose lower-risk investments.

What’s needed moving forward?

Despite the challenging times and a sluggish economy, most Americans still hope to build lifelong financial security. Ferguson emphasized the need for financial literacy and highlighted the need for individuals to acquire personally owned plans and better financial advice.

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Dean Larry Benveniste and Roger Ferguson, president and CEO of TIAA-CREFF

The Goizueta Dean’s Leadership Speaker Series seeks to bring thought-provoking leaders to campus in order to engage the community in meaningful discussions.

“Mr. Ferguson’s insight and knowledge of the current economic climate and his work in preparing individuals for financial security, provided our audience with a rich opportunity to learn about factors shaping the future of our nation,” said Dean Benveniste.

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