Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Baby Boomers? What retirement?

The American dream contains the end game result of being able to retire, and live out the final years of your life doing most of the things you wished you could have, but didn't have the time for during your working years.

As the scope of the economy in America has changed, and the paradigm of the American dream has been left to a bygone generation, the Economic Collapse has come out with 25 reasons why baby boomers and retirement will not be something to look forward to.

#1 According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 46 percent of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and 29 percent of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.


#4 Today, one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line.

#5 On January 1st, 2011 the very first Baby Boomers started to retire. For almost the next 20 years, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will be retiring every single day.

#8 Back in 1991, half of all American workers planned to retire before they reached the age of 65. Today, that number has declined to 23 percent.

#10 According to a recent AARP survey of Baby Boomers, 40 percent of them plan to work "until they drop".

#12 A study by a law professor at the University of Michigan found that Americans that are 55 years of age or older now account for 20 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States. Back in 2001, they only accounted for 12 percent of all bankruptcies.

#14 What is causing most of these bankruptcies among the elderly? The number one cause is medical bills. According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States. Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.

#15 Public retirement funds all over the United States are woefully underfunded. For example, it has been reported that the $33.7 billion Illinois Teachers Retirement System is 61% underfunded and is on the verge of complete collapse.

#16 Most U.S. states have huge pension obligations which threaten to bankrupt them. For example, pension consultant Girard Miller told California's Little Hoover Commission that state and local government bodies in the state of California have $325 billion in combined unfunded pension liabilities. When you break that down, it comes to $22,000 for every single working adult in the state of California.

#18 According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security system paid out more in benefits than it received in payroll taxes in 2010. That was not supposed to happen until at least 2016. Sadly, in the years ahead these "Social Security deficits" are scheduled to become absolutely nightmarish as hordes of Baby Boomers retire.

#20 The U.S. government now says that the Medicare trust fund will run out five years faster than they were projecting just last year.

#21 The total cost of just three federal government programs - the Department of Defense, Social Security and Medicare - exceeded the total amount of taxes brought in during fiscal 2010 by 10 billion dollars. In the years ahead expenses related to Social Security and Medicare are projected to skyrocket dramatically.

#22 The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is the agency of the federal government that pays monthly retirement benefits to hundreds of thousands of retirees that were covered under defined benefit pension plans that failed. The retirement crisis has barely even begun and the PBGC is already dead broke. The PBGC says that it ran a deficit of $26 billion during the fiscal year that just ended and that it will probably need a huge bailout from the federal government.

#24 More than 30 percent of all investors in the United States that are currently in their sixties have more than 80 percent of their 401k plans invested in equities. So what is going to happen to them if the stock market crashes?

For the younger generation who is having trouble even finding a job, today is bleak, and thoughts of retirement are not even on the radar.  But for those in their 50's and early 60's, the American dream of a comfortable retirement might as well be left to the 1%ers.

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