Danger zone: America's retirement system is breaking down



In a special report launching today, Eye on America: Retirement, CBS News explores the changing nature of retirement and how to prepare for the future.

Roughly half of all U.S. families have no money set aside for retirement, Federal Reserve data show. Not a cent. But even that alarming savings deficit doesn’t fully capture the emerging socioeconomic crisis facing what is, after all, a rapidly graying nation.
This is a serious problem for me and so I can empathize.

LOVE! :slight_smile:


This is a pretty easy problem to solve. Most 65 year olds are able bodied, so they can work longer. Also, many have houses they can sell and rent a small apartment.

Like I say to my students, lack of planning on your part is not an emergency on my part.


It’s not planning, but that most of these people have lived month by month financially their entire life. Look at the poor McDonald’s employees! Look at my own pitiful savings for retirement? I was mostly month to month financially too. If I do not get low-cost housing when I turn 65, I’m homeless! Am I fearful? YES!!! Do you have any idea of the pain and suffering we constantly feel being fearful? Do keep us in your prayers.

LOVE! :slight_smile:


America is not the only nation facing this financial tsunami. The UK. Australia, Canada not to mention Greece and other European cot cases. All face the lack of savings for retirement and the continued increase in life expectancy is causing governments across the globe to increase the age entitlement for old age pensions. In Australia it is going to go up to 67, in the UK 70. Greece won’t be able to pay anything soon.
We have had compulsory superannuation rising now to 12 percent of gross salary for over ten years, but this hasn’t been in long enough to cut in yet.
I don’t know the answer. I have retired now for ill health since I was fifty five, and it is a struggle to keep going. Thankfully the government assistance for the disabled is increasing but it will never be sufficient to keep people above the poverty line. Thank the Lord He allowed me to work hard in spite of my asthma, and bad heart and accumulate a small super and a few properties and a reasonable share portfolio. But I saved all my life, knowing my health would fail early. I also insured my life to the hilt so my wife will not have money needs. She knows I am worth more dead than alive and is giving me funny looks lately.(Only kidding, love. Wouldn’t know what to do without her.)
Many of our aged cannot afford the drugs and bandages they need and turn off essential electrical utilities just to go week to week.
Luckily in Australia most people worked to own their own home and can at a pinch sell and downsize, but that is a hard emotional decision for a lot of old people. Most homes in most capital cities sell for above 500k to over a million dollars so there is some fallback.
You need above a million in savings to retire comfortably in Australia.
For those who have not got this in savings or property then it is a matter of relying on government pensions. A hard road ahead for the KFC worker.
Like Robert I don’t know of any answer in the short term.


In most parts of the US, a paid for house is much cheaper than a small apartment, and even a home with a mortgage can be cheaper than an apartment. Not only that but a senior with a home can rent a room or two and share the house.


“retirement” is a socialist wealth redistribution scheme masquerading as a safety net.

Traditionally one worked as long as able, and stood in their home helping raise their grandkids while their children worked. They were provided by for their own families.

The state has replaced the family, and like all things the state does it does it three times as bad at nine times the cost.


I’m on the “work til I die” plan.


Somebody better call Kennly Loggins, because we’re on the highway to the danger zone.

The only thing that really worries me is who will take care of the elderly too sick to work. Other than that you can always work until the day you die.


If you own a home a reverse mortgage is the answer.


SS was always a pyramid sceme, and now were getting near the top and there isn’t enough to go around.



We wouldn’t want our Christian values to show. No instead we are suppose to rely on the government. :rolleyes:


Well… Relying on governmnet is getting tougher and tougher… Sometimes I’m scared to even open a newspaper and check out what they’re going to destroy next:/


“Work till you die”?

Often not feasible, Many are forced out, downsized or restructured, and just do not have the stamina. Not to mention growing healthcare issues and costs.


Government does not prevent family from helping.

Rely on your family all you want.


The state filled the void created by the family.


That would work if the government could stay out of it.

Instead they try to replace the family, taking our money to do so.


What a bleak life work until u drop and raise grandkidz.no thanks. 401k is the answer


A 65-year-old who works in an air conditioned office might be able to work longer.

A person doing intense physical labor might be ready to throw in the towel at that age or a little earlier.

Plus, as another person suggested, some employers don’t want to hire an older person, and it costs more to insure an older person.

And thank goodness Social Security was there for my mother when she became ill/retired. I wasn’t in a position to help out financially.

They used to say that we should rely on the “three-legged stool” - pensions, savings, and Social Security.

Besides the fact that a lot of us don’t have savings, the pensions are largely gone now. More and more employers expect employees to contribute their own pension plans.

Chances are, I’ll work until I can’t, as well. I don’t expect anything, or any significant amount from Social Security, the way they keep scaling it back.


Of course there is nothing stopping someone from moving from a physical job to one that requires less physical effort.

Plus, as another person suggested, some employers don’t want to hire an older person, and it costs more to insure an older person.

Maybe they need to lose their entitlement mentality and show themselves as hard workers. On the other hand, my local McDonalds has several seniors as cashiers.


But, again, both of these comments are predicated on the employer being willing to hire someone.

If they’ve got the idea that older workers are poor workers because . . . , there’s not a lot someone can do.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.