Why baby boomers are finding it very difficult to retire today.
When I was a young man my father was nearing retirement. Already he had a pension that was accumulated for over 30 years working with the same company. Because of his pension my father could easily slide out of work and along with Social Security my parents knew that enough money was going to keep coming in on a steady basis for the rest of their lives. They were financially free to do what ever they wanted, whether it be to travel, add an addition on to the house, or just entertain.
Now it is my turn. Nearing retirement is a scary thought now. I was fortunate to have worked for the YMCA for over 25 years, but no way near to be fully retired. Those employed today the life expectancy of their current job only lasts 5 to 6 years at most. Pensions! What pensions? They are no longer available for the majority of people nearing retirement today. In fact in today's economic big picture they have become extinct, like the Dodo bird for millions of workers.
The United States 40 years ago was an manufacturing base economy. Our exports surpassed all other countries. We had a stable and growing middle class. Retirees were assured of financial security. I find myself and along with millions of other people of my generation now are facing financial hardship, anxiety, fear, and a feeling of a foreboding future
What has really happened in that span of 40 years? We all know that in the span of those 40 years the United States lost most of it's manufacturing base, practically eliminated all middle class jobs, imports far exceed our exports, and the plight of our seniors is ever increasing. No where in our history has America moved so far backward in regards to providing an economy that promotes growth, financial security, and equal opportunity for all it's citizens. The time has come to fully understand what caused this backward mobility of the workforce. This so that we will be able to reverse this direction and enable our citizens that are nearing retirement or are retired to have a brighter future and that all generations will be assured of not only financial security but of national security.
Back in the early 1970's attitudes began to change. Slowly at first, from employee base concerns to one of corporate profit, what ever it took to increase the bottom line. Companies ceased providing the motivation to produce durable and quality products and services. Now, apathy toward employees, greed and just profit motivates most corporations then as well as now. What has been created undermines the quality and durability of products produced which further deteriorates economies and ultimately societies as well. When NAFTA was signed in 1993 the United States has lost millions of middle class wage jobs. So that today the unemployment rate is comparable in certain areas to the Great Depresion. When governmental policies have openly encouraged foreign investment rather than domestic as what has been occurring for the past 20 years corporations have continued to slash American jobs, payrolls and that includes pensions that are no longer available or the majority of employees who still have jobs.
Attitudes have to change, where quality, durability, and reliability of all products and services in all venues of businesses becomes paramount. Providing real living wages is a first step. A good example is in Tampa, Florida where the majority of the work force earn less than $30,000 per year while the cost of living mandates a salary of at least $55,000 per year. Any retirement plan such as a 401 K has to involve employee decisions were to invest their money. Finally the United States Congress must pass National Economic Reform and in doing so will establish Universal Health Care. This will free up monies to provide for more pensions that they would not be able to provide otherwise .Implementing National Economic Reform with it's ten articles of confederation will go a long way in solving the failed economic policies of today.
This nation has to finally realize that raising the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare isn't the answer to our populations retirement security. It is because the United States has had a steady exodus of employment opportunities that would have created enough solvency in Social Security to meet not only today's retiring population but for future retirees for generations to come. By implementing National Economic Reform this country's retirement security for all our citizens will be there when they need it most.