The Key to Boosting Retirement Savings | John Beshears

Ever wonder how to boost your retirement savings? Could it be that the subtle art of behavioral economics holds the answer? This week, Tim hosts a solo-sode with special guest John Beshears as they delve into the intricate world of retirement savings plans and automatic enrollment.

Discover the inner workings of automatic enrollment in 401k plans as Beshears breaks down its impact based on extensive research. Uncover the surprising findings that while automatic enrollment significantly boosts participation rates, it can also inadvertently lead to increased debt for some employees.

Beshears presents eye-opening analysis on UK employees, revealing that while they saved more with automatic enrollment, they also accumulated more debt, sparking a thought-provoking debate on whether automatic enrollment universally benefits individuals given this potential downside.

Explore alternative techniques highlighted in Beshears’ research, such as framing savings opportunities as “fresh starts” around key dates, and learn how this approach has proven to increase the uptake of future savings options.

The discussion doesn’t stop there – Houlihan and Beshears also dive into the history of behavioral economics, exploring its evolution and growing acceptance over the past few decades. Gain valuable insights into the long-term effects of automatic enrollment, with a closer look at the impact of pre-retirement withdrawals on the initial savings boost.

Tune in for a thought-provoking conversation that challenges conventional wisdom and sheds light on the complexities of retirement savings. Whether you’re a finance enthusiast or just curious about the psychology behind financial decisions, this episode is a must-listen!

© 2024 Behavioral Grooves


(7:43) Introduction and Speed Round

(12:23) The Impact of Auto-Enrollment on Retirement Savings

(16:41) The Psychology Behind Financial Decision Making

(22:31) Automatic Enrollment, Savings, and Employee Debt

(33:48) Long Term Effects

(37:37) Reframing Savings and “Fresh Starts”

(46:04) Jazz Music and Productivity

(52:35) Grooving Session: Behavioral Science and Retirement Savings

Other Episodes for Grooving

Episode 54, Saurabh Bhargava: A More Serene Path to Financial Wellbeing

Episode 254, Money Does Boost Happiness, But Not The Way We Think It Does | Daniel Crosby