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Thread: Many Americans over 55 have zero retirement savings

  1. #25

    Default Re: Many Americans over 55 have zero retirement savings

    Quote Originally Posted by FireWeatherMet View Post
    Interesting article, I've noticed this for some time and know quite a few people who make good salaries and are in a similar position.

    A lot can be blamed on the 2008-09 meltdown. Not only did some nest-eggs go from healthy amounts to near nothing, but then cash strapped families in bad mortgages as well as the millions who lost their jobs (there were millions of jobs lost) had to dip into their 401K'a to survive, many totally depleting them.

    Another longer term symptom...401K's are not what they used to be. Back in the 90's they had much more generous matching than TSP...I knew a few folks who had 8% matching.
    Today, nearly a third of companies who offer 401K offer NO Matching. For those who match, average matching is much lower than the 1990s also, near 4%.

    And lets face it...we are poor savers, Its the human condition. Especially in our consumer economy where every commercial urges you to use your credit card to keep up with the Jones's.

    Make no mistake, this is a huge crisis. And a big part of wage stagnation and no inflation. With an ever increasing senior population, we have a bigger and bigger portion of America that can't afford to pay higher prices for anything. That affects the costs of products, which stays the same, and the salaries/wages that produce those products then stay the same. In the very short term, I guess that is good for us. But not for long.

    We need 401K laws like other nations have. Mandatory contributions from your paycheck of at least 3%. Mandatory matching of at least 5%.
    And a lockbox...no dipping into your fund is allowed. Australia has this. Some might say this is too much Big Gov't, but we as a nation have proven we can't save for our retirement without the nanny to spank us once in a while. And the crisis they are creating is affecting as all.
    Sometimes we need to appreciate where we are and what we have ... and not everything can be "fixed". The data in the charts below are from 2007 and 2011. Statistically, some countries have better numbers in some areas, but that should not make us envious and want to emulate them. Sometimes, it only appears that the "grass is greener in the neighbor's backyard". It may be a facade.

    6a00e54ffb969888330168e6236afc970c-500wi.png

    medianwealth.jpg

    Private+Retirement+Savings+OECD+2011.png

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  3. #26

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    Default Re: Many Americans over 55 have zero retirement savings

    Quote Originally Posted by FireWeatherMet View Post
    We need 401K laws like other nations have. Mandatory contributions from your paycheck of at least 3%. Mandatory matching of at least 5%.
    And a lockbox...no dipping into your fund is allowed. Australia has this. Some might say this is too much Big Gov't, but we as a nation have proven we can't save for our retirement without the nanny to spank us once in a while. And the crisis they are creating is affecting as all.
    Don't we call this Social Security?

    The laws as you describe should also include ones that preclude the GOVERNMENT from dipping into the fund... can anyone say "G-FUND THEFT?"
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  5. #27

    Default Re: Many Americans over 55 have zero retirement savings

    RE: Education

    The DOD tries to do some of this basic financial education. I once (almost) had a part-time job, teaching the young 18 and 19 YO students that, although they now were receiving a regular paycheck (probably more money than they'd ever seen in their life !), it didn't mean they should go out and get fleeced by the salesmen for that new crotch-rocket, or that shiny Hyundai Amazing how the "basics" of credit, debt, and finances are so poorly understood...at least the DOD is attempting to fix that.

    OTOH, the mandatory class was a couple of hours, taught on a Saturday morning...you can guess at how attentive the audience was...


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