Traditional or Roth 401(k)?

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We start the show this week with Shirley from D.C. who’s wondering if she should be using the Roth 401(k) that’s available to her. Most large companies nowadays offer the Roth option, the problem is that many employees aren’t familiar with what it is or how it works.

Next up was Laura from Seattle who has one main question: is our financial picture solid and sound? Sounds simple, but you guys know there’s a lot more to it than that.

Since 1973, our productivity has grown almost six times faster than our wages. Most of us rank so far below the top earners in the country that the "winners" might as well inhabit another planet.

But work is about much more than earning a living. Work gives us our identity, and a sense of purpose and place in this world. And yet, work as we know it is under siege.

Joining us today to discuss is Ellen Ruppel Shell, author of The Job: Work and Its Future in a Time of Radical Change.

Through exhaustive reporting and keen analysis, The Job reveals the startling truths and unveils the pervasive myths that have colored our thinking on one of the most urgent issues of our day: how to build good work in a globalized and digitalized world where middle class jobs seem to be slipping away.

Traveling from deep in Appalachia to the heart of the Midwestern rust belt, from a struggling custom clothing maker in Massachusetts to a thriving co-working center in Minnesota, Shell presents evidence from a wide range of disciplines to show how our educational system, our politics, and our very sense of self have been held captive to and distorted by outdated notions of what it means to get and keep a good job.

Work, in all its richness, complexity, rewards and pain, is essential for people to flourish. Ellen Ruppel Shell paints a compelling portrait of where we stand today, and points to a promising and hopeful way forward.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman,