With the decline of unions so came the decline of pensions, a far better retirement solution than 401Ks. - First, given the skyrocketing prices of housing and college, most people have trouble maxxing out their 401Ks. - Second, while an average return (8%) can double your money about every 12 years, inexperienced investors do not average that and inflation eats away around 3% of the 8% figure. - Third, some experts say that to retire at your current quality of life, you need to have saved 20 times your annual salary. That's a huge number, and the less you earn the harder it is to save towards that goal. About a year ago, I read an article that said the average person who has been putting money into their 401K for 25 years has about $120,000. That would generate around $6,000/year in interest, not much at all. And consider that Social Security is very much under attack, and its benefits are likely to be cut at some point. (Under Reagan, Social Security income became taxable and Clinton increased those taxes, despite Democratic opposition.) Even with Social Security, our retirement system is a disaster. Blame the Republicans.