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America's Retirement Crisis

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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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.

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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.

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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.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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