Retirement savings and investments have been two of the most important financial service vehicles for American consumers' futures in recent years. With this backdrop, policymakers and consumer educators need retirement financial service providers to play the crucial role of helping consumers make economic decisions with regard to retirement plans and ultimately build retirement assets. This research of how retirement financial services advertising attempted to inform, communicate and persuade investors during the past four years (2006–2009) includes two crucial events in the US retirement marketplace—the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and the 2007/2008 US financial crisis. A content analysis examined the type of information, the communication strategies and the judgmental heuristic cues presented in a total of 1,430 retirement financial service advertisements in six national US business-finance magazines from 2006 to 2009.