Yesterday was my birthday, I am now 62. I can't believe it I am old enough to collect Social Security.......I am still working full time. I do not see retirement in the future, because of a few factors.
First, hospital pensions were notoriously paltry. Back about 1979 the USA enacted a law. Its acronym is ERISA. This was initially set up as a vehicle for the rich to tax shelter some of their income. Hence the 401k, that was the section number of it. The beauty of this was it allowed people (the wealthy) to put away some of their money yearly and not pay taxes until retirement and at that time their tax liability would be lower.
Well, many years later the corporations and companies came upon a good idea that would save them money. Up until now the traditional pensions were a Defined Benefit, which the company would put money and after a number of years when you retired you would get paid a set amount till you died, this was your reward for your company loyalty.
The companies said: We will set up all 401k's so the responsibility for saving for your retirement is now up to the employee. If you do not save baby, you will have no money when you retire.....And according to the law the only obligation the company has is to match a small portion of your savings. If you have no savings in a 401 they add NOTHING AT ALL. The retirement monkey is off their back and on to the workers themselves. I am willing to bet that most of the younger people have no clue about this at all. They are busy trying to make ends meet and can not see the need for saving or can not afford to save. What will happen when the defined benefits are gone and no one has saved a penny???
I have explained this to Emily. She will graduate June of 2010 and I told her firstly she has to put money away if she expects to retire. Now How About That.
The second is I will probably go part time because I need something to do. I hope to cut down my time next year, I have been putting money in my 401k. But another dilemma with it today is that people have lost trillions in their retirement accounts. The management of the 401k pension plans are up to the individual, and how many people are savvy enough to watch them. The Wall Street Crowd can even decide what to do about the Dow Jones, it happens to be up 177 points at this time.
Last year at this time it was 14,000 and today it is 9,000. Those 5,000 point means a lot of lost money. The only ones who made money were the corporate executive CEO scoundrels who made of with millions in Golden Parachutes
The picture was taken at Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County PA. This is one of the big white water rivers in the Northeast. They have class II to class IV. They also have a helipad, I suspect that a lot of people get hurt riding the rapids. Each summer I hear about a person or two who got killed there. Guess we never hear about the injuries.