First the bad news: Americans are more pessimistic than ever about their prospects for...


First the bad news: Americans are more pessimistic than ever about their prospects for retirement. The good news: At least we’re beginning to realize what miserable financial shape we’re in, and maybe we'll start to do something about it.

Comments (38)
  • Bio Insights
    , contributor
    Comments (942) | Send Message
     
    Just another view of the middle class getting crushed into the lower class by inflation and taxes feeding the government's overspending
    15 Mar 2011, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (4371) | Send Message
     
    Maybe that's good. It kinda sucks being middle class sometimes. The 'lower class' gets all the free stuff.
    15 Mar 2011, 07:04 PM Reply Like
  • cynic2011
    , contributor
    Comments (660) | Send Message
     
    I retired 10 years ago,I have more money and income now than when I retired. Who's hurting?
    15 Mar 2011, 08:34 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    cynic 2011,

     

    You sound like a card carrying CSEA/AFSME member.

     

    You don't quite look old enough to have already been retired for 10 years.
    15 Mar 2011, 08:40 PM Reply Like
  • Thomas Smicklas
    , contributor
    Comments (748) | Send Message
     
    All of my HUD tenants are happy -- you point has merit.
    15 Mar 2011, 09:31 PM Reply Like
  • coddy0
    , contributor
    Comments (1199) | Send Message
     
    JohnBinTN
    It kinda sucks being middle class sometimes. The 'lower class' gets all the free stuff.
    ======================...
    Life Observation
    To be lower class, when there is no upper classes is what really sucks.
    Because
    a. You are lower class
    b. It is hard to get free stuff, when stuff is not there
    15 Mar 2011, 09:55 PM Reply Like
  • Ohrama
    , contributor
    Comments (568) | Send Message
     
    "and maybe we'll start to do something about it."
    Like expecting more handouts from uncle Sam? Let us print another 10,000 dollars per person per year!
    15 Mar 2011, 06:45 PM Reply Like
  • Bouchart
    , contributor
    Comments (1104) | Send Message
     
    If you wait until you're in miserable financial shape to do something about it, it's too late.
    15 Mar 2011, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4291) | Send Message
     
    The average American is financially illiterate and too busy consuming to save. Social Security and Medicare will have to be means tested if they are to survive and taxes will inevitably rise because politicians will never cut spending as long as they are in office. These are the facts of life. Act accordingly.
    15 Mar 2011, 07:19 PM Reply Like
  • Ohrama
    , contributor
    Comments (568) | Send Message
     
    "Social Security and Medicare will have to be means tested"
    But then don't you think this has to be called and or pulled into welfare, medicaid etc. (at least we can reduce the administrative cost!)? At this point, this is called FICA (insurance)! If they return my (and employer paid) premiums plus interest minus any cost for protection that they gave me so far, that would be fair.
    15 Mar 2011, 08:02 PM Reply Like
  • Power Hedge
    , contributor
    Comments (1111) | Send Message
     
    I would gladly opt out of both Social Security and Medicare if given the option. They can even keep all the money that I've paid in so far... just let me manage my FICA contributions from here on out.

     

    I think most of us could beat the return on Social Security if given that option. Then again, most of us are capable of investing.
    15 Mar 2011, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • bigbenorr
    , contributor
    Comments (1154) | Send Message
     
    @ power hedge:

     

    Hear hear!!

     

    ...that is all.
    15 Mar 2011, 09:12 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4291) | Send Message
     
    Depending on your age, income, assets and the fate of Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare may be a thing of the past. Although these programs are touted as insurance, I suspect that is to confuse the fact that these programs are redistributionist in nature and dependent upon mandatory participation for their funding. In my book, that is a tax. Indeed, the Obama administration is now arguing exactly that to defend the constitutionality of Obamacare. There are many who depend upon these popular programs and believe society owes them some level of care and comfort. I don't happen to be one of them.
    15 Mar 2011, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • Terry330
    , contributor
    Comments (881) | Send Message
     
    Tea Party's main goal is to end social security and Medicare for all seniors. This will lower taxes for billionaires.
    15 Mar 2011, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • spald_fr
    , contributor
    Comments (2814) | Send Message
     
    The demographic for the TEA Party is over 55, white, overwhelmingly female and involved in their communities. For the most part, these are the den mothers, sports mothers and band mothers who have served their families and their communities. Most are middle class and will depend upon SS and Medicare in the near future. I'll certainly forgive your prejudice, for I've viewed your photo and see you are innocent of all charges.
    15 Mar 2011, 07:48 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (9113) | Send Message
     
    There you go again.................
    15 Mar 2011, 09:13 PM Reply Like
  • Thomas Smicklas
    , contributor
    Comments (748) | Send Message
     
    What is this, cross marketing from the Huffington Post?
    15 Mar 2011, 09:35 PM Reply Like
  • j-dub
    , contributor
    Comments (1235) | Send Message
     
    I had made a new year's resolution to start saving for retirement this year now that I'm thirty. And then Apple goes and decides to bring out the new ipad, so there goes that idea.

     

    Even though I already have the new iphone, the new ipad DOESN'T fit in my pocket and CAN'T make calls, so buying it is simply a no brainer.
    15 Mar 2011, 07:29 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    J-Dub,

     

    You can then watch American Idol, Dancin' with the Stars and The Biggest Loser on it too.

     

    The Bachelor too.

     

    Nevermind what's going on in the world, Life is Good!
    15 Mar 2011, 07:34 PM Reply Like
  • dividend_growth
    , contributor
    Comments (2895) | Send Message
     
    My dad fell from his bike last year, complained about head ache.

     

    Checked into ER, CT scan was fine, so got released the same night.

     

    2 weeks later, Medicare was billed $7500 by the hospital. Medicare knocked it down to $800, asked him to pay $100.

     

    Now imagine yourself as a middle classler without health insurance, but with a few tens of thousand bucks in the bank...
    15 Mar 2011, 08:12 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (4371) | Send Message
     
    Yes. You would curse the hospital / medical profession for over-charging for what? 30 minutes of active care / service to tell someone to take two aspirin and call them in the morning.

     

    Insurance companies, Dr.'s, lawyers, hospitals, and the government are all complicit in the debacle known as the U.S. healthcare system.
    15 Mar 2011, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • apberusdisvet
    , contributor
    Comments (3099) | Send Message
     
    Most docs I know in private practice are retiring early; gov't reimbursements don't cover their overhead. I don't think that docs are the main problem anyway; it's really the illegals who clog the ERs that are driving up the costs for all of us; most public hospitals are going broke for the same reason.
    15 Mar 2011, 08:53 PM Reply Like
  • mattyw
    , contributor
    Comments (125) | Send Message
     
    Agree completely. Most of the health care bill doesn't actually go towards providing health care, just padding salaries of lawyers and other health care 'professionals'
    15 Mar 2011, 09:19 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (4371) | Send Message
     
    I have yet to see one of them charge anything equal to or less than the 'maximum allowable' charge, be they private practice, or in a physicians group / hospital.

     

    Do you live in Mayberry?
    15 Mar 2011, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3527) | Send Message
     
    Sorry but I see some medical professionals in our community charge the 'maximum allowable' and then do 'pro bono' services on the side. But THEY decide who receives the pro bono services, not some bureaucrat.
    15 Mar 2011, 10:23 PM Reply Like
  • Fr33f0rm
    , contributor
    Comments (300) | Send Message
     
    I think that the problem is that insurance companies, as a rule, are negative value machines.

     

    It is true that the negotiation tactics that insurance companies use make it almost impossible to get healthcare without them. They negotiate a fraction of billed expenses so the hospitals have to increase their list prices to get fair value for services rendered.

     

    The sick part of it all is that the only reason that we have the insurance industry that we do now is because of overregulation of the hospitals.

     

    There are so many simple laws that would solve a lot of the problems but many influential people would lose a lot of money.

     

    1. Insurance companies should be non-profit enterprises
    2. Health insurance companies must be delisted from public exchanges.
    3. Health insurance companies must report inflows and distributions and there must be a ratio of no greater than 10:8 (numbers obviously would have to be researched)
    15 Mar 2011, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4291) | Send Message
     
    You don't seem to know much about the over regulated health insurance industry. Most coverage is government mandated as a one size fits all policy. Obamacare will exacerbate the problem and lead to rationing. There is no free market for insurance. As to your non-profit suggestion, I wonder why we can't apply the same rule to your profession...Without the profit motive, there is no reason to engage in commerce, there is no efficiency, resources are misallocated and there is no economic utility. This is life. Maybe it is different in heaven.
    15 Mar 2011, 10:17 PM Reply Like
  • nlvnumbersman
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    Being "non profit" does not exempt an entity from the laws of economics. If you don't make a profit you go away.
    15 Mar 2011, 11:56 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
     
    Yeah they will start to do something about it........

     

    Whine and vote for anyone that promises to give them stuff for "free"!
    15 Mar 2011, 09:29 PM Reply Like
  • Frankj78
    , contributor
    Comments (558) | Send Message
     
    The overall level of financial/investment knowledge in our society is abysmal. I know some very intelligent people with significant assets who simply wouldn't DREAM of managing their own money. They are happy to pay someone else the fees, loads, etc., to do it for them versus educating themselves.

     

    Then there are the people who are not so wealthy and don't know much about investing because they never have much left over to invest. This is the crowd that educational efforts should be directed towards. But it is a chicken/egg problem: "until I have any money to invest, why should I bother to learn about it ..."

     

    The SocSec/FICA take out, if invested for real, over a working lifetime could make for VERY COMFORTABLE retirement. If 20-somethings, and 30-somethings knew this they would be clamoring for Congress to change SocSecurity.
    15 Mar 2011, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • MarketGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (3983) | Send Message
     
    "...and maybe we'll start to do something about it."

     

    The words "Bastille Day" come to mind.
    15 Mar 2011, 10:01 PM Reply Like
  • marketstudent
    , contributor
    Comments (228) | Send Message
     
    I've long been advocating a march on Washington just like the govt. worker unions marched on Wisconsin's capital.
    15 Mar 2011, 10:47 PM Reply Like
  • jabamango
    , contributor
    Comments (57) | Send Message
     
    The minimum wage earners will be screwed really bad. They will only make enough food shop off the dollar menus.
    16 Mar 2011, 12:06 AM Reply Like
  • trader_murf
    , contributor
    Comments (53) | Send Message
     
    In my late 50's and pushed into early retirement by disability. For all you folks out there still working and/or with assets, watch your expenses, stop spending money on the latest junk everyone else has, save money and pay attention to your portfolio. Stop whining and blaming gov't, taxes, medicare, social security, health care reform, poor people, obama, blah, blah, woof, woof for not having as many bucks as you think the "free market" should roll into accounts. It is all what you make of it. If I can manage investing anybody can.
    16 Mar 2011, 12:54 AM Reply Like
  • Power Hedge
    , contributor
    Comments (1111) | Send Message
     
    That's good advice for anyone, trader_murf. Living below your means is something that is smart no matter how much you make.

     

    Sadly though, it's something that a lot of Americans don't get. I work with plenty of people making $60k a year plus who live paycheck to paycheck because they have to have all the latest gadgets. It's depressing, really.
    16 Mar 2011, 08:00 AM Reply Like
  • cynic2011
    , contributor
    Comments (660) | Send Message
     
    It's their choice to live that way. People can live how they want to, just don't ask me to pay for them.
    16 Mar 2011, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • marketstudent
    , contributor
    Comments (228) | Send Message
     
    I'm in my middle 50's and pushed into early retirement by outsourcing. My wife and I saved into retirement accounts instead of buying new cars, expensive homes, expensive trips, etc. and now have enough saved to be in the top 10% of retirees according to one of the referenced links. We still don't have enough saved for me to feel comfortable about our nest egg.
    16 Mar 2011, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • dogsbreath
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Well said trader_murf. Screw the FICO score, pay cash!.
    16 Mar 2011, 06:52 AM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Hub
ETF Screener: Search and filter by asset class, strategy, theme, performance, yield, and much more
ETF Performance: View ETF performance across key asset classes and investing themes
ETF Investing Guide: Learn how to build and manage a well-diversified, low cost ETF portfolio
ETF Selector: An explanation of how to select and use ETFs