Family Finances

Real Savings +

December 22, 2009  • Lewis Mandell, Pamela Perun, Lisa Mensah, and Raymond O'Mara III

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In this paper, the Initiative on Financial Security at the Aspen Institute proposes an investment option for the Automatic IRA: Real Savings+ (RS+). RS+ combines two widely traded and highly liquid assets – Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) and a broad-based equity market index – to provide savers with a personalized, automatic target date investment option. RS+ ensures the preservation of the purchasing power of contributions while at the same time offering the significant – and important – upside potential of market participation. RS+ thus provides low- and moderate-income savers with the opportunity for both growth and safety for their savings. Through an automatic, inexpensive blend of TIPS and the market index, RS+ protects all savers from the three most likely risks to retirement income – inflation, default by the bond issuer, and falling stock prices. By design, RS+ fully protects every dollar saved against economic cycles, market declines and loss of purchasing power.