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Opinion
Megan McArdle

Rent Is No Way to Save for Retirement

Forcing renters to save won't work, especially if landlords are supposed to make it happen.
Should your landlord be in charge of your retirement savings plan? Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Should your landlord be in charge of your retirement savings plan? Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Last week, I wrote a post about homeownership in response to a Josh Barro article that suggested it was a lousy way to save. Mathematically, he's correct, I said, but personal finance really isn't about math; it's about discipline. And homeownership, whatever its drawbacks, does force people to save, even if the rate of return on those savings is low.

This week, Barro suggests that perhaps we should offer the benefits of forced savings to renters, too: