A lack of sufficient means for retirement among boomers has broad implications not just for them but also for the entire U.S. economy, according to Ronald P. O'Hanley, president of asset management and corporate services for Fidelity Investments. Speaking at a recent conference, O'Hanley said, "I'm not sure what would be worse: millions of elderly unable to house and feed themselves ... or the intergenerational strife that surely would erupt if young people are forced to lower their standard of living to pay for our failure to act in a timely manner to avert this crisis."

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