The problem is getting attention, but this Wall Street Journal story caught my attention.
The median household headed by a person aged 60 to 62 with a 401(k) account has less than one-quarter of what is needed in that account to maintain its standard of living in retirement, according to data compiled by the Federal Reserve and analyzed by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College for The Wall Street Journal. Even counting Social Security and any pensions or other savings, most 401(k) participants appear to have insufficient savings. Data from other sources also show big gaps between savings and what people need, and the financial crisis has made things worse.
This analysis uses estimates of 401(k) balances from the end of 2010 and of salaries from 2009. It assumes people need 85% of their working income after they retire in order to maintain their standard of living, a common yardstick.
So, what will they do? Stay in the work force? Statistics indicate that about half will delay early retirement.
They will retire. Then they will get trapped.
The government and employers aren’t going to pay more for people’s retirements. Unless people begin saving earlier and contributing more to their 401(k) plans, advisers say, they are destined to hit retirement age with too little money.
They will lose their skills. They will lose their contacts in the employment world.
There comes a time to face facts, but most boomers are unwilling to do this.
Their children had better be ready to take them into their homes. But neither the parents nor the children are ready for this.
The solution is not additional savings. Time has just about run out for the boomers. The solution is getting a good post-retirement career. That’s what I did. I became self-employed, so I can’t be fired! But not many boomers are ready to hear this.