Today's retiree is worried

Sue Daugherty
Mar 23, 2010

Since the economic turmoil, I've seen older adults (70+) concerned about their ability to afford daily living. Believing that the Great Depression could never happen again, they stopped storing their savings under their mattresses (like their parents did) and responsibly invested their "nest egg" into the stock market. Unfortunately, this decision has bit'em big! And at a time in their life when they are the most vulnerable.

According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, between October 9, 2007 and October 8, 2008, "... the value of equities in pension plans and household portfolios fell by $7.4 trillion. Of that $7.4 trillion decline, $2 trillion occurred in 401(k)s and IRAs, $1.9 trillion in public and private defined benefit plans and $3.6 trillion in household non-pension assets."

What's even more concerning is this 70+ age group is primarily widowed women. (The average life span for American males is 75.2 years, and the average life span for women is now 80 years.) Most are not technologically proficient nor do they have the physical capacity to cope with the daily stress/demands of full-time employment (assuming it can be found) to provide them with income.

What condition would our country's older population be in today if the movement to privatize Social Security prevailed?

If this economic debacle teaches us nothing else, I hope we have learned one thing: The U.S. free market does not regulate greedy, immoral business behavior.

Comments

Anonymous

What a nice excremental plop of legerdemain...

Anonymous

jeff is going to the mccain rally thursday...

Anonymous

Good reddance to Ricky Boy!!

Anonymous

sue what happened to all your commentors?

Anonymous

Can you imagine what would have happened to Social Security had the government been successful in privatizing? Social Security is all that some people have after being wiped out of their pension during this meldown; it is the only thing you can count on. The politicians need to keep their hands off Social Security and Medicare. Don't tell us that these funds will not be there when you can pay out millions to bail out banks and investment firms. If the government has money for a bail such as banks, automakers, investment firms, they have money to bail out Social Security and Medicare. The politicians are going to play h--l with the baby boomers if they mess with us.

Anonymous

re bailout of medicare.
the sad thing about medicare and social security is that the money put into the system for more than almost 80 years now has not gone into a trust fund but to the general fund to be spent like taxes.
We as the owners of this country need to stand up become aware of what our employees are doing and make sure they run our country like we run our households.

Anonymous

Bail out Medicare and Social Security:

The concept was giving workers the choice of 'partial' privatization of some of their SS contributions.

I've invested very successfully for years and would do very well with my previous and current SS contributions, thankyouverymuch.

When you die, all but a pittance of your SS contributions is absconded by the govt. With an IRA, you can pass it on to your heirs or donate it to charity.

THERE IS NO MONEY IN THE SS TRUST FUND. They are govt. I.O.U.s to ourselves.

There is no Medicare and Medicaid trust fund. It is a pay-as-you-go system. The money comes in, the money goes out.

The govt. doesn't have the money for the bailout etc. We're borrowing it.

We are a debtor nation. We as citizens consume we do not save. The U.S. is borrowing foreign capital in order to fund its debt. The U.S. is technically BROKE!

Taxes will be higher for everyone in the future. Bank on it.

Anonymous

Regarding the nonsensical scare of privatizing SS, please see Factcheck.org's article:

http://www.factcheck.org/electio...

The politicians luv to scare the seniors to get their vote. More like wolves baiting the sheep.