America's Retirement Crisis
by Stephen Lendman
Crisis conditions exist.
Decades of class war leaves most Americans nearing retirement woefully unprepared.
Since the mid-1970s, real wages haven't kept pace with inflation. Benefits steadily eroded. High-paying jobs disappeared. Improved technology forces wage earners to work harder for less.
So-called "free" markets work only for those who control them. A handful of winners benefit at the expense of most others. Conditions get progressively worse.
Wealth disparity extremes are unprecedented. Neoliberal harshness force-feeds austerity when stimulus is needed. Public needs go begging.
American inequality is institutionalized. Bipartisan complicity assures it. Class war rages. America's social contract is targeted for destruction.
Both sides agree. They support giving bankers, war profiteers, other corporate favorites, and super-rich elites greater wealth at the expense of most others.
A May 2012 Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) study highlighted America's retirement crisis. American workers face trouble.
The percentage of those expecting to retire after age 65 increased to 37%. In 1991, only 11% expected to do so.
One-third of US workers expect to retire at age 70 or older. Growing numbers expect never being able to do so.
Over two-thirds expect to work at least part-time past age 65. At the same time, health and economic crisis conditions keep many of them from doing so.
Nearly one-third are woefully unprepared. Their savings are less than $1,000. Many others have nothing in reserve. Around 60% have less than $25,000.
Fewer than half of working Americans calculated how much they need in retirement. About two-thirds feel they're behind schedule preparing for it.
Only 14% believe they're adequately prepared. Only one-third have defined benefit plans.