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The recession's been hard on everyone, but there's a particular pain on older Americans, 1.6M of...

The recession's been hard on everyone, but there's a particular pain on older Americans, 1.6M of which are putting off retirement - with stock portfolios worth less than in 2006 and fixed-income investments with no income. And don't ask whether their house is worth more than it was a few years ago.
Comments (30)
  • Ohrama
    , contributor
    Comments (505) | Send Message
     
    It is tough especially if one skimmed off that gain to indulge further (on fancy cars, cruise vacations etc.) without realizing it is a paper gain (especially if they did not cash out). But why use 2006 as the bench mark? It should have been obvious to anyone that what went up beyond the norm was found to come down. Most probably true for today's market (propped by the Fed) too!
    11 Dec 2010, 06:48 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3979) | Send Message
     
    We can at least be happy for elder americans in that soc sec and medicare willl likely still be around for them and that any adjustments planned or enacted won't affect them.

     

    I personally know a few of these guys who can't/won't retire, I feel for them but they universally scoff when I tell them soc sec won't be there for me and my children...
    11 Dec 2010, 07:23 AM Reply Like
  • If U Say So
    , contributor
    Comments (348) | Send Message
     
    The scoff amounts to older generations that don't want to hear your sob story. They're partly if not totally in denial but like everyone else they only care about themselves. They would reason you still have time to make other arrangements while they're stuck with the 'idiotic' path they followed. Of course, 'idiotic' would be my opinion and not their own.
    11 Dec 2010, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • a fat panda
    , contributor
    Comments (806) | Send Message
     
    I would have to ask you why you think Social Security will last for anyone.

     

    Is it the auditors? They say it will be at zero in 2040, but that is IF AND ONLY IF their assumptions that interest rates don't rise, wages grow, and you have modest inflation are correct. If the assumptions don't work-out, the fund might have ZERO in 2025. The same auditors said that it would not be cashflow negative until 2017, well, opps... It was 2009.

     

    Does your Congressman make you confident. Mine doesn't.

     

    I am curious because the fund is massively underfunded, and has 100% concentration in one of the worst performing asset classes of the last 80 years. Americans right now want to scale back their FICA contributions. Basically it is short money now, it's earning capacity is near zero, and the contributors are fed-up. And you think this is going to last?

     

    Social Security accounts for about 1 in 4 dollars borrowed by the government. That fund is about to start redeeming assets not buying them.
    11 Dec 2010, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3979) | Send Message
     
    "they only care about themselves"

     

    This is precisely right; in my area unions were asked to make concessions, senior members chose to fire or screw over junior members in order to maintain their cushy benefits rather than consider anyone else or the well being of the whole.

     

    I see plenty of those types of folks are here too, I seem to have had my comment thumbed down by a few of them!
    11 Dec 2010, 07:55 PM Reply Like
  • BlueOkie
    , contributor
    Comments (4474) | Send Message
     
    Where did the notion come from that age is the only qualification for retirement? Retirement is not a right! Where did we get the thought we'd be better off financially in retirement than working? When a group of future retirees were asked if they could live on 90% of their current salary, Thinking it was for retirement, almost all said yes! The next question why not do that now and save 10% every year for retirement? Warren Buffett is still working in his 80's. Love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life.
    11 Dec 2010, 08:09 AM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    > Retirement is not a right!

     

    Perhaps not, but it is a contract -- or was until finance ruled the world.

     

    A lot of older people lived their youth and middle aged years in a world where you took lower pay for better benefits, the most important of which was a good pension.

     

    Now these pensions are underfunded or dissolved entirely, with the retirees left holding the bag.

     

    Employer: You work for me for 40 years and I'll provide you a nice pension for your retirement.

     

    Employee: OK!

     

    *40 years later*

     

    Employer: What pension? I don't remember anything about a pension....
    11 Dec 2010, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • BlueOkie
    , contributor
    Comments (4474) | Send Message
     
    How many people do you know is this category of no retirement after working 40years for a company?
    13 Dec 2010, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • a fat panda
    , contributor
    Comments (806) | Send Message
     
    It is particularly tough because the Fed has driven interest rates into the ground. I know an 85 year-old who has lived on a dwindling savings. She hasn't lived high, say cable vs free TV; but the return on her savings has killed her. She went from making $1500 on her CDs to $21 a year. That's right a 90% pay decrease. Let me know when Ben Bernanke takes a 90% pay cut.
    11 Dec 2010, 08:20 AM Reply Like
  • Harry Tuttle
    , contributor
    Comments (2221) | Send Message
     
    A direct subsidy from your friend to the large banks.
    11 Dec 2010, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • sburger
    , contributor
    Comments (48) | Send Message
     
    There are a lot of young people who don't even have jobs to cling to.
    11 Dec 2010, 08:22 AM Reply Like
  • KJP712
    , contributor
    Comments (437) | Send Message
     
    If millions put off retirement to continue work,where will the jobs be for the younger generations? At some point the briefcase has to be handed down to a new worker anxious to start their career.Every one was given an early chance for employment,the next group deserves that consideration,also.
    11 Dec 2010, 08:51 AM Reply Like
  • BlueOkie
    , contributor
    Comments (4474) | Send Message
     
    We have 42 million on food stamps. I cannot believe all are single moms working two jobs living in the slums. We have gotten lazy. It is easier to feed at the gov't trough than to work. Let's redistribute wealth by working for it. No jobs my foot! Maybe no jobs that have people being overpaid for their work. This gov't has caused a class warfare between the top 2% and the rest of us.
    11 Dec 2010, 08:57 AM Reply Like
  • allycatt2
    , contributor
    Comments (78) | Send Message
     
    The Banksters rape America and never pay for their crimes! The system is broken.
    11 Dec 2010, 09:46 AM Reply Like
  • If U Say So
    , contributor
    Comments (348) | Send Message
     
    We've had two straight years of great upside growth. Surely, many are back to 2007 levels. .....Say what? Oh, they got out in February 2009 and are just now getting back in again? Oh, Uh never mind.
    11 Dec 2010, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • Mad_Max_A_Million
    , contributor
    Comments (1175) | Send Message
     
    Lot of generalizing here. Allow me to add another 2-cents worth:
    Not all banks are bad.
    If you don't like banks, don't use them. I don't.
    If you spent your retirement money having fun before you retire, you are going to be one bored, broke individual when you do retire.
    If you saved, avoided banks, and are well set for retirement, you will have no trouble saving when the times get rough (and they will).
    The smartest people usually get to retirement in much better shape than the dumb or the clueless.
    Fact: Socialism generally tends to rob (take) from the former and give the latter.
    11 Dec 2010, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • Joe Morgan
    , contributor
    Comments (1500) | Send Message
     
    It is all common sense: why not save money and make good investment decisions? That way you don't have to depend from Government, when you retire....
    11 Dec 2010, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • ain't no fortunate son
    , contributor
    Comments (1609) | Send Message
     
    This is really great.. "Dems" vs "Repugs," socialists" vs "conservatives," "left" vs "right", "young" vs "old", "employed" vs "unemployed"... labels vs labels.

     

    Meanwhile, a handful of smug, arrogant elite f#%^s who broke every fraud and conspiracy law on the books laugh with glee all the way to the (offshore) banks while buying up quiet little safe houses in countries with no extradition treaties with the US of Gulag.

     

    When the HELL are people going to get what is really going on here and stop bickering with each other over freaking labels? You're getting conned out of everything you ever had or will have.

     

    Wise the f%#* up and channel some of that pain!
    11 Dec 2010, 11:54 AM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    And once people "get what is really going on here", what do you propose they do?

     

    Take to the streets? Yeah, that'll end well.

     

    Vote? Should they vote for the plutocrat on the left or the plutocrat on the right?

     

    Vote with their money? What money? 90% of the wealth is already controlled by 1% of the people. They simply don't need 'the people' anymore.

     

    So...what's left?
    11 Dec 2010, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • ain't no fortunate son
    , contributor
    Comments (1609) | Send Message
     
    No Virginia... just sit in your Barcalounger sucking your thumb and gurgling happily while you feed your face watching the Biggest Loser. Don't do a goddamn thing. How do you know what will happen unless you take your head out of the sand or wherever its stuck and attack the REAL problem - the oligarchs, the bought and paid for whores in Congress, the SEC, the FED, the lobbyists...the Wall Street "C" level guys, the media. And maybe if that means ending up in the Streets, then maybe that's where it was always meant to end up.

     

    So go right ahead and attack ME with a big thumbs down and pretend there's nothing you can do. Prove me right about the labels.
    11 Dec 2010, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    Settle down kiddo. I actually gave you a thumbs up.

     

    I agree with most of what you say, but I ask a very serious question: what to do about it?

     

    The point here is that "the people" have been stripped of most of their power. Sure, for some of them it's for lack of motivation, getting high off the opiates of the masses. But for many it's because they have no power, and have no means of acquiring any. And even if they did, they'd have no education to effectively use that power (you can thank the U.S. public school system).

     

    I, for one, would rather not see blood in the streets -- well, bankers' bood, sure, but not anyone else's.

     

    So I repeat: what do to?

     

    As individuals, some of us can protect ourselves with intelligent investments and such (assuming we already have money), but that doesn't do anything to change the system?

     

    Do you really think you can (re)educate an adult population overnight?

     

    If anything, people like you are the roadblock, whining about all the problems while not proposing any solutions.
    11 Dec 2010, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • ain't no fortunate son
    , contributor
    Comments (1609) | Send Message
     
    Sorry for the rant. I happen to believe we must get out on the streets. Soon. Immediately. Massive demonstrations. Remember the Million Man march to D.C. years ago? How about a 10 or 20 Million Person march taking place simultaneously in a hundred cities throughout the country with 4 or 5 million in DC and another few million in NYC alone to DEMAND that Holder get off his ass and start prosecuting the criminals who stole, and continue to steal us blind? Would that get someone's attention? Yes it would, and a heck of a lot more so than a couple of people blogging about it would.

     

    There are MANY points of pain that are killing the vast majority of us, absolutely killing us, and we as besieged individuals have many more similarities than differences, despite the myriad labels that our captors imbue us with, all of which are designed to make us fight each other rather than them. Where do we start in getting them presented in PUBLIC rather than in our armchairs on the Internet where the impact is diluted to nil? I have no idea posting here on the fly on one of these blogs on a Saturday afternoon but if enough people start thinking and start spreading the word then ideas will come and there will be a genesis of a movement and something WILL happen. That is what people do in a so-called democratic society. They have the right to assemble and to make their voices heard in no uncertain terms.

     

    We will never know unless we try, and I would submit that we are so close to endgame here - as you yourself have pointed out by stating how the vast majority of us have no voice whatsoever anymore - but I know that if the PEOPLE do not make their voices heard and express their rage and disgust in no uncertain terms then this, the greatest political and social experiment in the history of man, will die with a whimper, and not a bang.

     

    I'd personally rather go out with a bang then sitting on a couch with my shades drawn WISHING that someone will bail me out of this mess.

     

    I was born in 1950 - meaning I was around in my late teens and early twenties for all the demonstrations that took place, and I took part in them, and they achieved a significant change in the public sentiment about the Vietnam War... and one of the biggest causes for that change in attitude was Kent State. Four unfortunate, innocent college kids who just happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time got shot to death in that disgrace, but I believe they did not die in vain, because they became a symbol of what path our country was descending down, and their deaths ultimately helped get us out of that war and onto a better path, and who knows how many hundreds or thousands of young men and women were saved from death in that senseless war because it ended when it did, young people who went on to produce, and create, and become contributing members of society?

     

    It is time for Americans to speak up or shut up for good. If that means there is some blood to be spilled, then so be it. A fear of dying in the streets for me is no worse than a fear of dying under a bridge abutment, penniless, and wondering whether there was something I coulda, shoulda, woulda done different.
    11 Dec 2010, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • Archman Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2350) | Send Message
     
    I just don't get it. What am I missing?
    We have been told that Americans, especially older ones are flush with cash. That there is going to be a huge transfer of wealth to the younger generation. That Americans are deleveraging so fast. That consumer spending is really picking up. Etc, Etc.

     

    Oh crud thats right I forgot. If you are in the top 20% of this country that holds the majority of the net worth, things are good. Heck they have never been better. The top 20% of all Americans plus the government and it's grossly over paid employees are essentially supporting the other 80% of the economy that is barely surviving.

     

    This holiday season my wife and I spent our usual cash only for all the gifts and parties. We continue to fund our future, our children's future and I look forward to adding to my silver bullion stash if silver drops to below $20 again.
    Meanwhile over at the local WalMart, the millions of Americans are falling all over each other to buy their 90% off TV's and other crap they can barely afford in the first place. Yep, people are creating their own future. Some will survive and their children with survive and thrive. Others will not. Gee I wonder why?

     

    Opps. I guess any "real" reporting by the media is out of the question anymore.
    11 Dec 2010, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Morgan
    , contributor
    Comments (1500) | Send Message
     
    Keep dreaming of the US demise...it would never happen...

     

    Our country is very resilient and we would crush the naysayers in a couple of years...very un-patriotic your comment sir....
    11 Dec 2010, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • Archman Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2350) | Send Message
     
    To bad its doing a slow motion crash as we speak. The problem with slow motion crashes, they take years to occur.

     

    <<Keep dreaming of the US demise...it would never happen...>>

     

    Careful that phrase has been uttered a thousand times before by many other once great civilizations. Wonder where they are now?
    Joe always keep history in the back of your mind and never assume that things will "never" happen.
    Better to be prepared than not.
    11 Dec 2010, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • Harry Tuttle
    , contributor
    Comments (2221) | Send Message
     
    Joe,

     

    Although History indicates that Americans are resilient, there is no indication they are timely. This country will most probably bounce back, however, "a couple of years" seems to hopeful for me.

     

    By the way, real patriots are those who point out the problems when they KNOW it isn't popular.
    11 Dec 2010, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Morgan
    , contributor
    Comments (1500) | Send Message
     
    We already know the problems, it doesnt help to repeat the same thing every day, high indebtedness, scarce of jobs....ect....

     

    What's your solution? Hide underneath the bed and pray that everything would be alright?

     

    I only know that I planned a good retirement, House, assets in stocks, commodities, cash and bonds, no debt, firearms and ammunition....I have enough to live comfortable the rest of my life.....

     

    We can't continue with all this apocalypse scenario.... is doing nothing to help our country in fact is creating a lot of depression on people...
    11 Dec 2010, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3141) | Send Message
     
    I don't feel bad for folks supposedly "putting off" retirement. Many of them spend like drunken sailors and chased lifestyles. Thats their choice and their responsibility.

     

    I do feel bad for those already retired that are collecting zero percent interest on their savings as CD's mature. They are subsidizing the million dollar bonuses handed out on Wall Street. Its plain wrong and there is no justification for it.

     

    This is what happens when you ignore the rule of law. Then the government starts picking winners and losers..... and in that type of governing structure curruption soon takes over. Its no longer government by the people, for the people, of the people...... its government of the bureaucrat, by the politicians, for the elite. Government bureaucrats and their unions, politicians, and the financial elite have taken over our country and have plundered the assets of future generations.
    11 Dec 2010, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • bob adamson
    , contributor
    Comments (4555) | Send Message
     
    In the post WW II US, issues of class were obscured by envisioning the overwhelming preponderance of Americans as forming a ‘middle class’ marked by four criteria:
    (a) steady employment (or at least employability) based on the attainment of a college degree or equivalent trade school certification,
    (b) homeownership or the capacity to become a homeowner,
    (c) the realistic anticipation of a comfortable retirement, and
    (d) increasing capacity to enjoy the forgoing in an enhanced manner (i.e. better education for the kids than you enjoyed, being able to afford ever better housing, being able to enjoy better health and amenities while retiring at ever younger ages etc.).
    Criteria (a) and (b) marked entry while the prospect represented by criteria (c) marked secure placement within the charmed middle class status circle.

     

    This was always more an aspiration than a current reality for most but there was more substance to this ‘American Dream’ for a larger proportion of Americans during the thirty to forty years following WW II than before or since. Arguably the increased stratification of the quality and prestige of post secondary education, the increasing cost of acquiring such an education and a family home, affordable health care and a solid retirement package have these attainment and maintenance of this middle class status increasingly a mirage for a growing segment of upward aspiring Americans.

     

    Arguably the mirage nature of these aspirations was becoming increasingly apparent by the 1990s but the illusion was maintained and even temporarily enhanced by the ready availability of easy credit and the two income family unit. Life post the 2008 economic meltdown (i.e. poor employment prospects, loss of home value and tighter credit) has made that illusion harder to believe in except for those who refuse to recognize their real circumstances.
    11 Dec 2010, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • vkvic
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    there is so much truth to this article that elderly are suffering; they are paying more at grocerry store, there is NO interest income and UNCLE BEN IS BENT ON MAKING WALLSTREET RICH AND RICHER. AND PRESIDENT FORGOT AND AGREED TO KEEP THOSE FATCATS EVEN CHANGE MONEY BY NOT LETTING THEM PAY EVEN TAXES THAT SHOULD HAVE PAID. NOW THEY WILL STASH UP SOME MORE FREE MONEY IN CAYMAN ISLANDS AND WILL PASS ON EXTRA MONEY TO THEIR GIRL FRIENDS AND THEIR CHILDREN.

     

    i hope that uncle ben go to grocerry store and buy some milk, bread,eggs and then he will know that what he is planning of these QE2 AND QE3 SHOULD STOP FOR GOOD
    11 Dec 2010, 01:29 PM Reply Like
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