Saturday, December 17, 2011

Generation Angst

...near-retirees are somewhat more likely than today’s retirees to say they expect the Great Recession and its aftermath to lastingly harm their prospects. The most revealing measure of their anxiety, however, is that only one-fifth of the near-retirees (compared with one-third of those who have retired) express a great deal of confidence that they will have enough income to provide a secure retirement. Like Eason, many of them are paddling so hard to stay above the waves today that they have difficulty imagining a time when they can confidently lay down their oars.

from the National Journal

The one-fifth of near-retirees cited as having confidence that their incomes at retirement will sustain them for 20-30 years are kidding themselves.

Most estimates claim that you should have about $500,000 in savings (401K, etc.) at retirement. If you make the nation's median annual wage (between $26,000—$28,000), setting aside $500,000 over the course of your working life is simply impossible. Even if you make $60,000 and aggressively play the Wall Street casino, you can't come close to hitting that mark.

With private and public sector employers abandoning pension programs, most retirees will be entirely dependent on the nation's weakened safety net (social security, medicare, medicaid)—any savings they do have can be wiped out by one accident, illness, or recession.

Shit is fucked up and bullshit.

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