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Old 09-11-2017, 05:18 PM
18,369 posts, read 11,791,369 times
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Originally Posted by westender View Post
Agreed. The retirement problem that will dominate the US national discussion for the next 20 years, just like this generation has repeatedly dominated the US national discussion, is the Baby Boomers.

Something like 40% of the Boomers (born 1945-1963) have zero retirement savings. Gen X (1964-1982) has a better savings rate, perhaps because of wider availability of IRAs and 401(k)s. The Millennials aka Generation Y (1983-2001) appear to be saving assiduously, although it is too early to judge their retirement prospects. The oldest Millennials have only been working for 15 years.

The Boomers and Gen X will always vote to ensure the viability of Social Security -- too many of them are dependent on it, and many have also largely completed their contributions. I do see the FRA going higher -- probably in stages to age 70 -- for those born no earlier than 1990. That change also increases long-term viability. It closes the 67-70 "loophole" which guarantees a remaining lifetime of increased benefits in exchange for the current three-year-post-FRA deferral. I foresee a fifty-year lifetime of work to be the new standard, rather than the current forty-five.

Nevertheless, the US media will start to fill up (I already see at least one story per week) with the "news" that baby boomers with zero savings who are finding it impossible to survive on $1500/ month social security. Expect lots of hand-wringing and more government programs to subsidize these retirees.

We haven't seen anything yet regarding the battles over SS. IMHO reason why no one in Washington, D.C. wants to truly open that can of worms is because there aren't any good options where everyone comes out a winner. Some where, some how, everyone is going to have to give up something otherwise any sort of "fix" won't work.

There are already seniors who basically are going hungry at least by the end of month because their benefits/income just run out by the third week. Don't know about where y'all live, but here in NYC you routinely see seniors going through garbage bags in front of shops/supermarkets (dumpster diving) to get food.

Fact of the matter even after the COLA laws were passed in the 1970's to address so called "poverty" in seniors, things are pretty much inching back down that road.

US economy has had almost twelve years or so of nil to low inflation, and that does not seem to be changing anytime soon. This has harmed anyone whose pension and SS benefits are indexed linked to inflation. Of course back in the 1980's and 1990's when inflation was off the charts those same persons received huge increases.

Fast forward to now and going forward the talk coming out of Washington is that the federal government cannot "afford" such increases linked to high inflation, and steps should be taken *now* to reformulate COLA as to lessen the impact of any future impact.

Problem is the official federal inflation rates already bear little resemblance to how most Americans actually live. Housing, food, energy and other "volatile" prices are stripped out IIRC. Well don't know about Congress but I and others cannot get away from paying those costs.
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