Thursday, March 28, 2013

There will be no retirement

Forbes: "The greatest retirement crisis in American history."
We are on the precipice of the greatest retirement crisis in the history of the world. In the decades to come, we will witness millions of elderly Americans, the Baby Boomers and others, slipping into poverty. Too frail to work, too poor to retire will become the “new normal” for many elderly Americans.
The article cites a statistic that 75% of Americans nearing retirement have less than $30,000 in retirement accounts.  Which is just mind-blowing.  The contributor Edward Siedle predicts that because of meager savings, most Americans will have to continue working, maybe until they're forced out.  That "bag boy" at the supermarket?  Not anymore.
Given the certainty that a retirement crisis is headed toward our shores, you’d think that our elected officials would be hard at work preparing a response. Of course, that’s not happening. To the contrary, conservatives are trying to pare back so-called entitlements that will mushroom in the near future and liberals have failed to acknowledge the crisis or propose any solutions.
I take umbrage at the idea I'm trying to "pare back" entitlements.  I'd rather see the eligibility ages for Medicare and Social Security increased to 1) help their finances and 2) bring these programs back to their original intent of helping the elderly poor.  The first step towards sanity would be to acknowledge that, given demographic trends, there is no way these entitlement programs can continue without reform.  The status quo - the status quo - is that the Medicare and Social Security Trust Funds will run dry and then will only be able to pay out what they take in as revenue, which means an automatic cut of about 25%.  But if you try to pare back $4/month from Social Security checks, it's portrayed as drowning Grandma in the bathtub.

No comments: