Americans will now since the 1930’s experience a double dip depression. Those calling this a recession have not lost their jobs….yet. The disappearing middle class has given way to more than 25% unemployment. This is not just a statistic, this represents people, a lot of people. Baby boomers that are set to retire soon may have to keep working as prices keep rising for goods and services. Have you been to the pharmacy yet? The co-pay on certain drugs keeps climbing. Many Americans are faced with rising debt, lowered wages i.e. California state workers, and forced retirement; some with no retirement due to company bankruptcy.
According to Scott Thill of truthout; e-newsletter, “One out of three working Americans does not have retirement savings beyond Social Security, and about 35% of those over 65 rely almost totally on Social Security alone.” Thill contends in an insightful manner that the retirement that is promised to working adults is a ‘retirement myth’. The numbers that Thill contends are a cold reality include the following: ’27 percent of Americans report less than $1000 dollars in savings; 16 percent between $1,000 and $9,999; 11 percent between $10,000 and $24,999; 12 percent between $25,000-$49,999, and 36 percent $50,000 or more.”
Many pension plans have been gambled on the casino-style stock market and they lost. Some say that a financial planner does not need a four year degree to plan and manage retirement funds. Learning to trade and sell stock options may be relatively easy with online trading tools like Etrade. What about all those fees? That is another matter. The banks do the same thing. Ponzi schemes abound. Consumer beware. If it sounds too good to be true; it probably is.
Leaving the pension plan for a moment examine the old adage of savings and living under the means of income. How about paying cash for purchases. Remember the credit card burst of astronomical high interest rates? Some cards adopted policy of 20% or more. Exactly how much money does your broker receive for managing your retirement investments? It may be higher than you think.
Consider this statement by Sara Horowitz, executive director of the nonprofit Freelancer Union; AlterNet, “I think Americans will no longer have retirements that demand no additional work, “They will lessen work in old age. In other words, retirement will increasingly mean becoming an independent worker.”
http://www.cartoonaday.com/zombie-economy-of-2010 Get ready all seniors to become freelancers. This new world of economic Ponzi schemes, derivatives, dividends whatumacallit. Well you get my drift. The age of stopping work while most people were still young enough to travel and pursue some other career in the arts like sculpting and painting may have to be postponed while senior populations learn to work from home to create businesses to keep viable income coming in. Remember Enron? It would appear many corporations followed the lead of floating numbers, stealing pension money and cooking the books. The reality is the American dollar just does not have the purchasing power it had twenty years ago. The trend reveals that people will be doing a lot of work from home and the responsibility of insurance, unemployment, and retirement will be totally in their hands.
With45 million people below the poverty guidelines, some hard choices will have to be made about budgetary priorities in this country. Christine Vestal of the Global Research E-Newsletter writes “the homelessness has increased by fifty percent in some cities.” There is no way to really know exactly how many homeless each city has because most homeless do not come out to participate in surveys. It would appear that the answer lies in the creative mind; starting new businesses and freelancing until some proficiency has been attained. For those that feel inclined to do so college is also an added caveat to advancing career and business goals.
A different kind of retirement. Yes! Retirement now means finding that second job. Something enjoyable, rewarding and fulfilling. A different kind of retirement.