“Early retirement? In this overtaxed,over-regulated economy?”

Older workers

Older folks can no longer retire.

They just can’t.  Not “in this overtaxed, over-regulated economy” says Robert Wenzel, owner and editor of Economic Policy Journal.  He points out that . . .

The percentage of those 55 and older in the workforce has exploded.  It also started with the George H. W. Bush Administration.

Early RetirementBut it’s not just the over-regulated economy.  It’s also that older folks didn’t save enough for retirement.  Some have taken whatever savings they have left and dumped it all in motor home, referring to these free spirited, elderly folks who didn’t save enough as “Motorhome Nomads.”  The complete epitaph is “Motorhome Nomads at the Bottom of Pareto’s Curve,” a title he coined upon reading about Dorothy Westfall’s, 79, reason for going on the road.  Are these folks still riding high on Jack Kerouac?  It’s their swan song, their last hurrah at youth.  She owes $50,000 on credit cards.Gary North summarizes . . .

She clearly doesn’t know how to budget. She was married twice, and she had no children. Now she finds that she doesn’t have any financial support other than Social Security. In other words, she did what almost no women in history ever did, which was marry and not have any children to support them in their old age. She believed the ideological Kool-Aid of the Social Security System, and now she is trapped. She never learned to budget. She never thought about the future. She never understood that in not having any children, she would be defenseless in her old age. She thought about the present; she did not think about the future. The future has unpleasantly arrived.

North does not let her off the hook.  Nor should he.

[Ms. Westfall] gets $1,200 a month for Social Security, and she is on the road constantly in a motor home that guzzles gasoline. She cannot find permanent work at 79, which is understandable. Instead of making peanut butter sandwiches, she spends $21 for a restaurant lunch. She still doesn’t know how to budget. She pays $300 for a speeding ticket. She shouldn’t speed.

I cannot even think about retirement.  Only work.  How to serve people better.  And how to earn and save more.

In this economy, people have to be maniacal about saving for their old age.  And in cases like Dorothy Westfall, women who have no children to protect them legally and financially in old age, they are putting themselves in doubtful circumstances.

Not only can older workers not retire, but the forecast is even worse.  30% are underwater.  CNNMoney.com writer, Les Christie, cites erosion of home equity for why a third of all baby-boomers are in debt.  So they’re carrying mortgage debt, credit card debit, and car debt.  And that was in 2009.  Since then it is true that many more have paid off greater amounts of their debt.

 

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