In the News (from The Economic Collapse blog): “For decades we were warned that when the Baby Boomers started to retire that this country would be facing a retirement crisis of unprecedented magnitude. Well, that day has arrived ladies and gentlemen. Back on January 1st, the Baby Boomers began to retire and more than 10,000 of them will be retiring every single day for years to come. Most of them have not saved up nearly enough money for retirement. At the same time, private sector pension plans are failing all over the place, hundreds of state and local government pension plans from coast to coast are woefully underfunded, and the Social Security system is on the road to complete and total disaster. A massive wave of humanity is hitting retirement age at a moment in history when the U.S. economy is coming apart at the seams.
“The following are 25 bitter and painful facts about the coming Baby Boomer retirement crisis that will blow your mind….
#1 According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 46 percent of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and 29 percent of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.
#2 According to a recent poll conducted by Americans for Secure Retirement, 88 percent of all Americans are worried about ‘maintaining a comfortable standard of living in retirement.’ Last year, that figure was at 73 percent.
#3 A study conducted by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research has found that American workers are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire comfortably.
#4 Today, one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line.
#5 On January 1st, 2011 the very first Baby Boomers started to retire. For almost the next 20 years, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will be retiring every single day.
#6 At the moment, only about 13 percent of all Americans are 65 years of age or older. By 2030, that number will soar to 18 percent.
#7 Right now, there are somewhere around 40 million senior citizens. By 2050 that number is projected to increase to 89 million.
#8 Back in 1991, half of all American workers planned to retire before they reached the age of 65. Today, that number has declined to 23 percent.
#9 According to one recent survey, 74 percent of American workers expect to continue working once they are ‘retired.’
#10 According to a recent AARP survey of Baby Boomers, 40 percent of them plan to work ‘until they drop.’
#11 A poll conducted by CESI Debt Solutions found that 56 percent of American retirees still had outstanding debts when they retired.
#12 A study by a law professor at the University of Michigan found that Americans that are 55 years of age or older now account for 20 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States. Back in 2001, they only accounted for 12 percent of all bankruptcies.
#13 Between 1991 and 2007 the number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by a staggering 178 percent.
#14 What is causing most of these bankruptcies among the elderly? The number one cause is medical bills. According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States. Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.
#15 Public retirement funds all over the United States are woefully underfunded. For example, it has been reported that the $33.7 billion Illinois Teachers Retirement System is 61% underfunded and is on the verge of complete collapse.
#16 Most U.S. states have huge pension obligations which threaten to bankrupt them.
#17 Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua D. Rauh of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management have calculated the combined pension liability for all 50 U.S. states. What they found was that the 50 states are collectively facing $5.17 trillion in pension obligations, but they only have $1.94 trillion set aside in state pension funds. That is a difference of 3.2 trillion dollars. So where in the world is all of that extra money going to come from?
#18 According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security system paid out more in benefits than it received in payroll taxes in 2010. That was not supposed to happen until at least 2016. Sadly, in the years ahead these ‘Social Security deficits’ are scheduled to become absolutely nightmarish as hordes of Baby Boomers retire.
#19 In 1950, each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by 16 U.S. workers. According to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are now only 1.75 full-time private sector workers for each person that is receiving Social Security benefits in the United States.
#20 The U.S. government now says that the Medicare trust fund will run out five years faster than they were projecting just last year.
#21 The total cost of just three federal government programs – the Department of Defense, Social Security and Medicare – exceeded the total amount of taxes brought in during fiscal 2010 by 10 billion dollars. In the years ahead expenses related to Social Security and Medicare are projected to skyrocket dramatically.
#22 The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is the agency of the federal government that pays monthly retirement benefits to hundreds of thousands of retirees that were covered under defined benefit pension plans that failed. The retirement crisis has barely even begun and the PBGC is already dead broke. The PBGC says that it ran a deficit of $26 billion during the fiscal year that just ended and that it will probably need a huge bailout from the federal government.
#23 According to a survey by careerbuilder.com, 36 percent of all Americans say that they don’t contribute anything at all to retirement savings.
#24 More than 30 percent of all investors in the United States that are currently in their sixties have more than 80 percent of their 401k plans invested in equities. So what is going to happen to them if the stock market crashes?
#25 A survey taken earlier this year found that 20 percent of all U.S. workers admitted that they had postponed their planned retirement age at least once during the last 12 months. Back in 2008, that number was only at 14 percent.”
My Comment: The crisis has crept up unnoticed, or rather, since we did not want to pay attention to it, it brought us to the critical point where we cannot keep ignoring it and we have to start paying attention to what is happening. We are like children, and this is because everything that happens occurs at the level higher than our development. So, is it not worth listening to Kabbalists who can foresee the future…?