So Much For Retirement

social security

Anyone younger than a baby boomer is going to have to do some serious retirement planning if you want to have any semblance of retirement as we now know it. Well, at least if you’re in the private sector. Public sector Generation X’ers shouldn’t be feeling too comfortable, either. Most public pension funds are severely underfunded. Cities, towns, counties and municipalities all over the country are on the brink of bankruptcy. It’s only a matter of time before they run out of money. The way the politicians are running things, it’s anybody’s guess if the Social Security we’ve been promised will deliver. If your 401k is in the stock market, well, it might be looking like you made back some of your losses and are doing okay, but what’s going to happen when the Fed stops inflating the market? That can’t go on forever.

I bring this up because of an article in the Daily Bell a friend forwarded to me.

Generation X, the unlucky cohort of Americans who became young adults during the boom years of the 1990s only to suffer a midlife bust, is facing bleak retirement prospects, according to a study. The Pew Charitable Trusts said the typical Gen X couple, born between 1966 and 1975, only has enough savings to replace half of its pre-retirement earnings. Married Americans born during the first part of the baby boom, from 1946 to 1955, can expect to retire with about 82 percent of their income. The younger boomers, born between 1956 and 1964, can expect to quit work and make about 59 percent of pre-retirement earnings. …

Ironically, we are not supposed to contemplate anything but the evolution of this dysfunctional system. The idea that whole societies managed to live and work together without undue poverty from childhood to old age now escapes us. The modern state defiantly separates parents from children and is now working busily at separating mothers from fathers. The nuclear family is thus atomized.

Today’s retirement consists of a forced engagement with a euphemistically-named “retirement home,” after which many may face increasingly ubiquitous “death panels.” Parents, deprived of generational, extended families, turn to the state for aid – and the state in return places such pressure on this fragile unit that divorce is inevitable. And thus, the atomization occurs.

The system simply doesn’t work, and it is getting worse, not better. (Read More)

What can I say? Plan accordingly, and be nice to your neighbors, kids and friends.