You know what works better and easier? Pensions. I put amount of time into a company and maybe chip in $ amount of dollars. In return, regardless of market forces, I get retirement. It's contracted and I get it. There's no guess work and I could literally plan for my whole life to have an exact retirement package setup for when I retire. Instead it's a craps shoot up to about maybe 5 years from retirement when, if I'm doing well, I yank back investments into super stable, low return stocks and ride it out into retirement. Of course if we see another crash or two like this last one (and the student loan bubble is going to pop at some point) America will have a very hard time recovering.