Skip to comments.The Extinction of Retirement. Is It Going the Way of the Dodo Bird?
Posted on 06/18/2011 6:53:46 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
For the better part of a century, the foundations for a semi-comfortable retirement for many Americans have rested on the financial pillars of rising real estate and equity prices, positive real interest rates on savings, the continued solvency of public and private pension plans and the reliability of national entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicaid). But in the last few years, the economic sands have fundamentally shifted and these pillars are no longer sturdy, some have cracked completely. For many Americans, the traditional idea of a comfortable retirement filled with golf carts, cruises and fishing trips is going the way of the dodo bird.
Over the last decade incomes and job growth have stagnated, causing savings rates to drop. According to Jim Quinn, author of The Burning Platform, 60 percent of retirees have less than $50,000 in savings. Such sums won't last very long, especially when consumer prices are up 3.6 percent, import prices are up 12.5 percent and commodity prices are up 35 percent year over year. What's worse, any savings placed in a bank will pay next to zero interest and will likely not even pay for the fees associated with the account. With cash savings essentially non-existent, the other pillars of income take on paramount importance. But these former bastions of financial security are being washed away by a torrent of red ink.
For years, the essential Ponzi-like structures of Social Security and Medicare were concealed behind positive demographics. But once taxes collected from current payers fall short of the required distribution owed to current recipients, the ruse will be laid bare. That day is now here. With insolvency a real and present danger, at last a consensus is now forming that Social Security must be structurally altered if it is to survive.
But according to the Social Security Administration, in 2008 Social Security provided 50 percent of all income for 64 percent of recipients and 90 percent of all income for 34 percent of all beneficiaries. With these numbers, it's not hard to see how even small cuts will spark big protests. Now, try cutting the close to $20 trillion prescription drug program and the $79 trillion Medicare entitlements and watch the political sparks fly! However, given the realities, it's hard to see how the program can escape deep cuts -- Paul Ryan has it correct.
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It’s now called “Going Galt”.
“$20 trillion prescription drug program”
My new retirement plan.....
The Obama Retirement Plan: “I will work till I am 90.”
Only 46 year old Congressmen who take pictures of their weiner and post it on the internet can afford to retire today.
Some may now understand why big families were the norm in the past. Your family was your retirement. When you got too old to work, you went to live with one of your children.
Families have been getting smaller, and more dispersed.
The golden years are not going to be so golden for some.
People don’t want their health care cut because of fear of their lives or major problems. I wonder how much health care money goes to “less important” items such as Viagra or vastly overpriced comfort items and medications.
How about legislation that carefully avoids the scary cuts and focuses on the comfort items.
Then there’s the problem of way-overpriced items such as a $18,000 pacemaker (a friend got one of those but of course didn’t pay for it with their own money), or a $5,000 knee replacement (the mechanical part) that a hospital buys at that price (seems mighty high) and sells to the patient for $10,000. I know this example is true because a friend works for a company that makes joint replacements.
What, you expect prisoners on death row to pay for their OWN sex change operations? You are so cold-hearted!
Of course with older people staying at work a lot longer, I know this makes the gov’t happy and corporate executives. It will make it harder for younger people to succeed and they can be paid much cheaper wages but still expected to work hard like putting in a lot of unpaid overtime.
Democrats believe in putting a lot of people to work but what is not mentioned, people will be working for dirt cheap wages that barely sustain them. Of course this makes bankers happy since people have little or no wealth, they would need credit much more ! Not a road to prosperity but a road to slavery and be easily controlled by those in charge.
Actually, the typical Corporate Retirement Plan (for the workers) is “Work until you are 90, or until we can replace you with younger workers.”
The ObamaCare Retirement Plan (for the un-waivered masses)is “Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you don’t live that long.”
The Repubicrat One-Party Retirement Plan (for the Little People) is “We’ll make sure you won’t want to live that long.”
The entire concept of “retirement” is just another utopian progressive concept from the 20’s that lasted only a couple of generations before it played itself out.
in all reality, the combination of the future is going to be working as much as one can, together with living with off of other living family members, together with the other “pillars” is going to have to do the trick. problem is, those first two pillars (continuing to work, family) are not something that current folks are ready for. it is going to require a massive cultural change over the next decade and decades.....
The title of your post made me laugh, not because I found it funny in a comedic way but much more so as gallow’s humor. Retirement?? Let me put it to you this way. The gathering storm coming this way will make the story of Noah seem like stopped up toilet bowl by comparison.
It’s because the American people began to vote wrong in the 1930s, when FDR promised a balanced budget.
How many people in their 20’s, 30’s or even 40’s even consider what it costs to turn 70 or 80 and plan for it? Not very many. Along with that, how many of them know where our government spends their Social Security and Medicare tax money? Do people know that the government owes Social Security over $2 Trillion that they borrowed and have no intention to pay it back?
The Reality-Check Retirement Plan:
Live off our own savings, or live in borderline poverty on the dole.
My mom is scheduled for a knee replacement. I went with her to talk to her Ortho about it.
He spent 4 years in college and worked hard to get good grades to get into med school. Then he spent 4 years in med school. Then 2 more years in med school for specialty and surgery. Then 6 years in residency. 16 years of schooling. Not to mention the continuing education he does.
What about the Anesthesiologist?
The cost of the medical facilities?
The list goes on.
Have a repair done on your car. I bet the repair costs twice as much as the part.
Same with home repairs or remodeling. The labor will be at least the price of the material.
“For the better part of a century, the foundations for a semi-comfortable retirement for many Americans have rested on the financial pillars of rising real estate and equity prices,...”
From the beginning, this diatribe shows that the author has not fully understood what has happened to the American family.
It was not until the 1970’s, when the wives income was included in the family borrowing power, that the real estate
BOOM started. At first it was seen as freedom to grow financially. Now, it has torn apart the fabric of the family.
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