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Retire at 65. Become a Ward of the State.

Written by Gary North on September 3, 2013

PBS had a recent article about retirees who stay in the work force beyond age 65. It interviewed economists. What it did not do was provide statistics on how many Americans work until age 75. The answer is: hardly any.

A proponent of working longer is Prof. Alicia Munnell, who is careful to keep her date of birth a secret. Here is her assessment.

PAUL SOLMAN: And, says Munnell, that would be a good thing for the older workers, considering that 55-to-64-year-olds have an average of only $120,000 dollars saved for retirement.

ALICIA MUNNELL: One hundred and twenty thousand dollars may sound like a lot, but when you think about taking that out over a 20-30 year retirement, you’re talking about only a few hundred dollars per month.

PAUL SOLMAN: So you mean if you have saved as much as $120,000 dollars in your late 50s, you’re still facing relative poverty?

ALICIA MUNNELL: People are not going to have very much money if they retire at 64. So my view is the single most important thing they can do is to work as long as they possibly can.

The problem is, hardly anyone believes this. Economist Lawrence Kotlikoff understands this. Dr. Munnell carefully avoids it.

LARRY KOTLIKOFF, Boston University: Only a very small share of people over 65 are going to continue to work under the best of circumstances, so it really can’t matter much to the macroeconomy or to our fiscal problems. It’s just not a big enough effect.

PAUL SOLMAN: So you don’t think that this is going to make that much of a difference?

LARRY KOTLIKOFF: Even if we had another 20 percent of people in their 60s continue to work through their 70s or 75, it just wouldn’t add up to much. It’s just not enough people earning enough money, paying enough taxes to matter much.

So, most Americans do not have enough savings. They retire anyway.

Most Americans believe in the tooth fairy: the federal government. They think the checks will keep coming. They will not budget. They will spend their $120,000 long before they die. Then what?

Continue Reading on www.pbs.org

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6 thoughts on “Retire at 65. Become a Ward of the State.

  1. Edward Shick says:

    I wanted to work till I was at least 72 as i had two sons to go to coledge but between Company and Union i was put out on Medical at age 64 ,, i worked part time jobs till 80 , now my health is gone ,, Then they managed to loose the stock i had Bought untill it was worthless , still makes me mad!

  2. Smarty Pants says:

    Fifteen years ago, I had a good job and was happy with it. I thought I would keep working to at least 2022 when I turn 70. Well, now I can forget THAT. I can't get a decent job and am desperately waiting until I am 62 and I can get some Social Security Welfare. No thanks to Obama and his young idiots.

  3. Dude, better learn to farm or something because social security is a scam ponzi scheme that is now bankrupt and bankrolled off of debt. At some point the US will not be able to borrow cheaply anymore and when that happens the days of funding your consumption off of debt are over. I guess you might think, "just tax the young people more to pay for my retirement", right? Well, the young people are broke. Many below 30 have no job at all or they work fast food. This is not an Obama problem. It was building under Bush, Clinton, etc. all the way back to Nixon. It is a result of having fiat currency and fractional reserve banking as the basis of our dishonest money supply instead of sound money based on gold. I hate to be the one to tell you this but you are people like you brought this on all of us. You failed to listen to the age old wisdom of Ron Paul. You chose to laugh at him instead of learning the value of sound money, limited government and constitutional freedoms. So you basically got exactly what you deserve. Not trying to be mean or anything but it is what it is.

  4. Don't blame the failures of the powers that be on the people. Plenty of people (including me) have written their congressmen, called their representatives, voted their conscience, and it is all for naught. The government doesn't listen to the people, and doesn't even act in their own best interest. They are the parasite that will kill the host.

  5. let’s not forget that many of us have socked away fun through our income tax that we will never see… Nobody ever talks about the people who died before they got to collect… There is a huge reserving that but has simply been sucked up into oblivion… this government that you have trusted for too long has sold you out…

  6. Husband worked 45 years paying in the maximum for the vast majority of those years. Died at 63 from cancer and never collected a dime of that money. How many more like him out there?