Embody peanut butter and jelly in your retirement plan |
I recently read a letter to the online financial magazine MarketWatch with empathy. The question related to the subject of retirement, written by a 50-year-old man – let’s call him Frank – who admits “losing a lot of sleep because he is worried about tomorrow”. He reveals more: “I’m obsessed with pension calculations.”
I have also dealt with this topic. First, let’s take a look at the larger retirement landscape.
Most American retirees rely on the federal Social Security Trust Fund, which now has $ 2.8 trillion in its coffers and is well on its way to idle by 2031 program especially?
Because I like the concept, the intent; the Social Security Act was created as a social safety net after the Great Depression in 1935 in the face of widespread financial devastation. It has proven risky to rely on the waves and whims of the “market” after investing in a career spanning more than 40 years.
While the social security bucket is leaking, we are finding that 50 percent of employers are no longer contributing to 401 (k) retirement plans. Combine all of this with a trend by employers – inspired by the economic pressures of COVID – to cut their “Willy Lomans” payrolls in favor of keeping key mid-career employees, and we have the long soup line recipe again – the exact ones Images that fed the social security laws.
Large swaths of older employees are “incentivized” or actually forced into retirement. No wonder we find gray and white hair in abundance in our expanding urban tent cities.
A related law from the Depression era, the Wagner Act, which gave private sector workers the right to organize in unions and to participate in collective bargaining, has been largely overturned. Note a recent failed attempt to unionize at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama. Pension nets for expendable warehouse workers are not high on the company’s board of directors’ agenda this week.
Incidentally, Frank who “loses sleep” has $ 1.7 million in an IRA and his 401 (k) executive has nearly $ 300,000 annual income and $ 6,000 a month from his eight rentals . Make sure to mention this before preparing your prayers for him and his family.
However, it is important to heed Frank’s perceived concerns as they spell the futility of our attempts to bolster the expectations of the waning American Dream. The immense energy-intensive expenditure of even achieving a middle-class lifestyle is no longer sustainable – and we haven’t even started talking about Americans living longer, feeding straws, and needing 24/7 dementia care. Seventy-nine percent of middle-income baby boomers have no savings for long-term care that isn’t covered by Medicare.
It would be naive to assume that those ubiquitous gray and white hairs that line our urban debris are someone else’s problem. These “losers” are embedded in our collective culture, which gives rise to expectations of social success at an early stage. Something had blocked their view and they couldn’t follow the script.
Strangely enough, they share this perspective with our well-heeled friend Frank, anxiously looking over their shoulder at neighbors who have more, and the fear that everything could be taken from them at any moment.
As for my own retirement, I’m an older dad and I’m counting on my smart Gen Z kids to make it big on YouTube or as an Amazon seller. In the meantime, I remain grateful for the peanut butter and jelly and set my expectations accordingly.
After years of traveling the world, Broadman writes off his peg on the Palouse and loves the view. You can find his Policy Briefs at US Resist News: https://www.usresistnews.org/