Today, Americans are contending with the most uncertain financial prospects since the Great Depression.
More than half of U.S. households will not have the ability to maintain their standard of living in retirement, according to the National Retirement Risk Index.
Today’s cost of living is not tomorrow’s cost of living.
The price of a decent health care plan continues to climb, regardless if you are employed in the public or private sectors. Goods and services are becoming more expensive. We turn more to credit as a way to make ends meet rather than having enough cash on hand to spend and perhaps put some aside in our savings account or 401(k).
According to one survey, more than half of Americans don’t save for retirement because of day-to-day expenses.
Social Security is no longer a genuine safety net. It is a crutch, and a wobbly one at that. The defined benefit plan has become a relic of the past, while the defined contribution plan has become the sole retirement investment instrument for many Americans — even though it was never meant to be used for that purpose.
Washington is listening, but action of late seems limited at best. Recently, the nonprofit think tank Bipartisan Policy Center announced it would form a comprehensive plan that will pinpoint what can be done to help Americans better prepare for retirement.
While we have pointed out several negatives of the sour fiscal state of many of our fellow Americans, we can steer that feeling of uncertainty to a more confident and prosperous outlook.
The U.S. economy is rife with plenty of investment opportunities. We just have to rid ourselves of the notion that in retirement, our social security and pension will maintain the same standard of living we had while earning a big paycheck in the workforce.
More than likely, that will not be the case, especially when we consider the always ascending cost curve of living.
The future can be bright, if we sit down today and research what options are out there. We just have to get moving today — and not tomorrow.