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.
That dire prediction, which I wrote two years ago, is already coming true. Our national demographics, coupled with indisputable glaringly insufficient retirement savings and human physiology, suggest that a catastrophic outcome for at least a significant percentage of our elderly population is inevitable. With the average 401(k) balance for 65 year olds estimated at $25,000 by independent experts—$100,000 if you believe the retirement planning industry—the decades many elders will spend in forced or elected “retirement” will be grim.
According to the author, the impending crisis will happen in ‘waves’ to a majority of elderly Americans:
- Wave 1: Retirees Come Back To Work
- Wave 2: Workers Delay Full Retirement
- Wave 3: Full Retirement Is Unachievable
- Wave 4: Drowning
While you reflect on how irresponsible it is to not save for retirement, take a moment to reflect on Paul Ryan’s budget (and the 95% of Republican House members who voted for it) – along with all the slicing and dicing they want to do to the social safety net, health care reform, and Medicare in order to provide more tax relief to the wealthy.
Be sure to consider all the jobs that are not being created right now because of the conservative hangups on spending cuts and the deficit. Issues which, when a Republican is in office, members of this specific political party aren’t concerned about at all. Maybe it’s time we willingly spent our taxes on infrastructure and people instead of exponentially expanding our military industrial complex each year, quit paying to have other countries blown up and rebuilt for the profit of a few.
Then consider: how are people with the low-wage Bain Capital replacement jobs, or people who are unemployed, supposed to find some money to put in a “retirement account”? Maybe they should forego eating a few times a month. Or maybe they could just save all those tax breaks they get for private jets or dancing horses. It would be irresponsible if they don’t, right?