The end of retirement as we know it
Older Americans no longer expect to have the kind of retirement their parents did, and that's not all bad.
This post comes from Frederick E. Allen at partner site Forbes.com.
Tens of millions of Americans lost big chunks of their retirement savings in the recession. Many lost their jobs, too, and quite a few are still out of work. Social Security and Medicare are against the ropes. How is anyone ever supposed to retire again?
A new report by SunAmerica Financial Group and Age Wave, a consultancy, puts revealing numbers to the situation. Post continues after video.
The SunAmerica Retirement Re-Set report, based on a telephone survey of 1,001 Americans 55 and older, finds that those who haven't yet retired have typically pushed back their retirement age from 64 to 69.
And 82% say their chief financial goal is simply peace of mind, not accumulating wealth. Nearly half expect to have to support aging relatives, adult children, grandchildren and siblings, and of that fraction, 70% expect to be supporting their adult children.
The findings also indicate that before the recession, 62% of people 55 and older felt financially secure. Now 44% do. Back then, 28% considered themselves "worried." Now 39% do. (How much money will your 401k provide?)
So where's the bright side in all this? Ken Dychtwald, the founder of Age Wave, says, "Having been jolted by the last several years, Americans have adopted more realistic and pragmatic views of the possibilities before them. They now see retirement as a time for new priorities, new opportunities and new strategies for today's challenges."
Is that just putting a bright face on a bad situation? Here are a couple of relatively encouraging numbers:
- Today 54% of people older than 55 consider retirement a new chapter in life, not just a winding down.
- Ten years ago, only 38% felt that way.
- And nearly two-thirds say they'd prefer to be doing some work in retirement "to stay active and involved."
As Dychtwald puts it, they want to "move back and forth between periods of work and leisure" in "a more active and productive version of retirement than their parents' generation."
That may be a good thing, whether or not it grows out of financial need. After all, as I reported earlier this year, several studies have found that keeping active, with a real sense of purpose, is the biggest key to living long and in good health. We may all be, in a way, better off unable to retire the way earlier generations did.
More on Forbes.com and MSN Money
They might as well call it retirement....
Being laid off just before being able to draw a pension.....
No jobs to be found, especially if your over 55...
I would still like to be working, paying taxes, and saving for my retirement.....
But instead, started drawing my SS at 62, found a part time job, cause now I'm limited on how much I can make yearly....But I paid into SS for around 40 years, so its not so bad getting back some of your own money...?
If our government had not Stolen from the SS funds, things might be in better shape today...
Big Corporations love the savings they get outsourcing our jobs to China and India.......now lets make the seniors in this country work until they drop for minimum wage.
No health care for you! No retirement benefits!
What....you fell and cant get up? Stop whining...Back to work!
More Money... More Money...
My America is dying right in front of me.
Of course, this is just my opinion; I could be wrong.
There is a difference between "staying active", and not being able to "retire". Very few people I know have been able to work into their 70's and not spent half of their time going from one doctor's apt to another. Anyone who can look at the "bright side" of working at McDonalds or Wal-Mart (aka little China) until you are 69 or 70 because you got downsized at 60 is an idiot.
Instead of giving all of that stimulus money to GM, Madof, and the banks, they should have given it to everyone who had a retirement account - here is how it would have worked. Give $5,000 to everyone who had a retirement acct like a 401. They also got $5K for each year they were in it. 10 years, you get $50K. That $ must stay in the acct OR you MUST retire. say 50% did both. Lots of money staying in the stock market or where you had invested. LOTS of bonds etc are now being bought, lots of taxes being paid. The 50% that retired? Wow, you just created millions of jobs. New people reducing costs making the companies more profitable - hey more fed revenue. Yes I know this idea was radically simplistic, but it sure could not have been a bigger waste that what Congress and the last two White house idiots have done...
The sad part in all of this that any chance of real retirement for the 50 and under crowd is about zero. Society no longer wants it's elderly to be free to enjoy atleast some portion of their lives. Society doesn't want the burden of supporting them and yet society really doesn't want to employ them either because as we age we tend to slow down. So as people reach their 50's no one wants you retire for atleast another 20 years but no one wants to give you a job because employers would rather hire younger workers they can push harder and pay less to. If they do hire older workers they want to pay at rates you likely made 30 years ago and are nothing short of insulting.
Reaganomics destroyed social security for the baby boomers 25 years ago. That was when social security had such a surplus the government felt it could rob the program blind and it would rebound.. That never worked because it was robbed too much. And 401ks were an invention of that time and unless you hopped on the bandwagon right away and salted away more money than most could ever afford that system wont save your retirement.
Unlike my grand parents who were able to retire at 62. My retirement won't come until i'm either too sick to work or someone is digging a hole in the ground to stick me in.
In the meantime I face a bright future of earning the same rate of pay i made 30 years ago until that happens.
This guy is part of the problem in the US. I bet this man is either well off financially or very young.
So you say you don't want to pay for the retirement of others? You don't want to pay for 50 years. Well guess what Every retiree who is collecting social security has paid into that system for just as long as you are complaining about paying in for in the future. Welcome to adulthood. You might as well get used to it now cause it's not going to get any better.
You said in your first post and I quote,"I don't want to be overly harsh, but why is it that I have to be forced to pay into a crumbling social security system so that you can retire? "
Well the answer is because as a part of society you are expected to contribute to society. You don't want to pay for your parents retirement when they spent 18 years or more paying your way. When it comes to strangers thats that being part of society thing raising it's head. If you went to public school my tax dollars helped pay for your education. Is it fair to me to pay for the education of others even when i dont have children of my own? You bet it is!!!
For whatever bizarre reasoning, some people seem to think that retirement is a choice. A choice to leave working life, to have a good time, and that one can easily work into their 80's.
Excuse me?! No.
65-years today, is no different than 65 yesterday, last week, or in the past several decades. We grow old! We can no longer work, at least work with any degree of accuracy. Nothing has changed. Quite simply, you'll die working; and likely sooner, rather than later.
Plan to retire, please. Sell whatever you must...move to a cheaper location...do a reverse mortgage...whatever, and take SS as soon as possible. Newsflash: Taking on-average of folks that pay into SS nationwide, SS is drawn on average for about 18-months time. Many die before they get there, while many die shortly thereafter. Retire already.
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