Friday, January 6, 2012


We all expect to retire someday and live comfortably. That has been the American dream for decades. Sorry, but it's reality time, and whether you want to deal with this or not, there is no way to stop the ticking clock.

Forget the phony rosy picture being painted by world leaders, and our politicians of the economy rebounding, or their magical blame it on anyone, anything solutions  but continue to ignore the systemic corrupt greed,
mismanagement, of those in power that created this mess over so many years. 

As the US economy continues to stagnate, those who have jobs are getting used to the idea that they will have to support their children for much longer than they had hoped, and work longer in order to afford retirement.

According to a Wells Fargo survey of 1,500 middle-class Americans, 25% of those questioned believed that they'd have to work into their 80s in order to comfortably retire

Well, ummm, hmmm, uhh, we seem to have a bit of a problem. See, Americans, on average, do not live to see 80. The US life expectancy is 79.4 years. For 2011, the CIA Fact book has us living shorter lives, with a life expectancy of 78.37 years.

Many Baby Boomers Will  Work As Wage Slaves Until They Drop Dead.


As I have said in prior posts, despite false claims by some, of the Social Security System being a large part of our financial meltdown, the reality is that it was a profit making entitlement program that we all as workers paid our own hard earned money into from every pay check, while the Government "borrowed" all the Social Security money to use for general fund projects, and left worthless IO,U's in the Social Security fund that can never be paid back because the money is gone, stolen by the politicians.

The ideas of the GOP and Tea Party to cut spending on the the backs of the American people, cutting entitlement, social service programs for our citizens, while protecting the rich 1% from tax hikes, and continuing tax breaks for Corporations, it's all bull shit. 
None of this will make things better and only will create more folks who have nothing left to live on. The blame lies squarely on the crooked, corrupt, mismanaged hands of all the politicians that have bled this country dry for decades, not to be deflected in lying solutions, causes that break the backs of the people in the United States of America.

The true economic policy of our Country, regardless of who is the President, or which political party is in power is: it's just too much damn trouble to deal with the long term implications of all their decisions and plan for those, too. So they and many of their citizen sheep disciples settle for the "Okay, you people are on your own, some of you will get sick or injured and die, and many of you will be far more miserable, but planning is hard work, so see ya" approach. As long as they can live like their money will never run out and the rest of the country is their garbage can, who gives a fuck about anyone else?

Wells Fargo's survey respondents also consistently underestimated the cost of healthcare. Those surveyed were thinking $60,000 for uninsured healthcare costs for a married couple 65+. The reality: $197,000 and growing.

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit, however, might be the cavalier, almost jolly, resignation it found among those most financially distraught about their future. When asked if they agreed with the statement "I plan to enjoy life now and I'm not worried about retirement/tomorrow," the majority of respondents earning less than $25,000 (57 percent to be exact), agreed. Only 26 percent of those earning $100,000 or more felt the same way.

If you want to understand the denial of most Americans' relationship with the increasingly unlikely concept of the American Dream, just look at your own family's minimum basic living needs of rising food prices, college tuition, health costs, taxes, utility bills, housing costs. How are you going to pay for it, and then vomit. ? No wonder, many people don't want to face the potential facts, it's too ugly.

Life Expectancy: Interactive Graph- Only 15 countries (the US is not one of them) have an average life expectancy over 80. The USA is still above the global average, which is just over 69 years.

So, what does this mean for the American Dream? If you're entering the workforce, what are your prospects, assuming you can find a job, for making a wage with which you can start saving for your eventual retirement?

The real horror story is even worse. Nobody except the top quartile of income earners will be able to retire at 65 anymore, so plan on working until you die. Young people trying to find jobs? You are competing to find a job because all the jobs will be taken by 80-year-old people, especially those "good" minimum wage Wal-Mart jobs.

Those who earned between $11,700 and $31,200 will need to work till age 76 to have a 50% chance of covering basic expenses in retirement. Those who earned between $31,200 and $72,500 will need to work to age 72 to have a 50% chance and those who earned more than $72,500, those in the highest income quartile, catch a break; they get stop working at age 65 to have a 50/50 chance of funding their retirement.

All over America tonight, millions of Americans are wondering if their money is going to run out before it is time for them to die. They are not homeless yet, simply people like you and me. Those that are now past retirement age are not going to be rioting in the streets, but that doesn't mean that large numbers of them are not deeply suffering. There are millions of Americans of all ages that are leading lives of "quiet desperation" as they try to get by on meager incomes. Soaring food prices have impacted many who are surviving on one meal a day, oatmeal, peanut butter, whatever other cheap food they can find in the stores, or reduced to scrounging through dumpster's for food thrown away. 

There are some like myself, that will not turn on the heat in their homes until the temperature inside is colder than outside. We sit in layers of clothing, under blankets to try keeping ourselves from freezing. As health care costs soar, millions of Americans find themselves deep in debt and facing huge medical bills that they cannot possibly pay. 

Right now caring for all of the Americans that have already retired is turning out to be an overwhelming challenge, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.  On January 1st, 2011 the very first Baby Boomers turned 65.  A massive tsunami of retirees is coming, and America is not ready for it.

Clearly, even with slashing our own personal living expenses, or just ignoring it by spending money as if there will always be funds in your investments to support yourself, most Americans have not seriously prepared for retirement.

For many, the recent economic downturn absolutely devastated their retirement plans.  Many were counting on the equity in their homes, but the recent housing crash crushed those dreams. Others had their 401ks shredded by the stock market.

Meanwhile, Corporate pension plans all across America are vastly underfunded.  Many state and local government pension programs are absolute disasters. 

The following are signs that the new reality for many of the American Dream will be to work as wage slaves until they drop dead:

1) Most states have huge pension liabilities that are woefully underfunded.  For example, pension consultant Girard Miller recently told California's Little Hoover Commission that state and local government bodies in the state of California have $325 billion in combined unfunded pension liabilities. When you break that down, it comes to $22,000 for every single working adult in the state of California.

2) Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Chicago and Joshua D. Rauh of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management recently calculated the combined pension liability for all 50 U.S. states. What they found was that the 50 states are collectively facing $5.17 trillion in pension obligations, but they only have $1.94 trillion set aside in state pension funds.  That is a difference of 3.2 trillion dollars.  So where in the world is all of that extra money going to come from? Most of the states are already completely broke and on the verge of bankruptcy.

3) According to a shocking AARP survey of Baby Boomers that are still in the workforce, 40 percent of them plan to work "until they drop".

4) A recent survey of American workers that included all age groups found that 54 percent of them planned to keep working when they retire and 39 percent of them plan to either work past age 70, or never retire at all.

5) A poll conducted by CESI Debt Solutions found that 56 per cent of American retirees still had outstanding debts when they retired.

If the worst happens, we are going to see a lot more once successful, taxpaying Americans seeking government help that won't be there for them, leading to more people eating out of trash cans and freezing to death in their own homes.

6) A recent study by a law professor from the University of Michigan found that Americans that are 55 years of age or older now account for 20 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States. Back in 2001, they only accounted for 12 percent of all bankruptcies.

7) Between 1991 and 2007 the number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by a staggering 178 percent.

8) Most of the bankruptcies among the elderly are caused by our deeply dysfunctional health care system.
According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States. Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.

9) The U.S. government now says that the Medicare trust fund will run dry five years faster than they were projecting just last year.

10) Starting on January 1st, 2011 the Baby Boomers began to hit retirement age.  From now on, every single day more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach the age of 65.  That is going to keep happening every single day for the next 19 years.

11) Over 30 percent of all U.S. investors currently in their sixties have more than 80 percent of their 401k retirement plans invested in equities. What happens if  and when, the stock market crashes again?

12) All over the United States predatory lenders are coldly and cruelly foreclosing on homeowners. 

13) According to one recent survey, 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything at all to retirement savings.

14) According to another recent survey, 24 percent of all U.S. workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age at least once during the past year.

The United States is facing a retirement crisis of unprecedented magnitude.  A comfortable, happy retirement is rapidly going to become a luxury that only the wealthy will enjoy.

For most of the rest of us, our golden years are going to mean a whole lot of pain and suffering.That may not be pleasant to hear, but that is the truth.  

Not your problem you say. You have it all figured out huh, a great job position held with a Company that you have been contributing into a pension and 401K for yourself. Think you are safe and not one "of them", who will be destroyed by the rich. Go ahead, dream that dream, I hope it comes true for all of us, we certainly deserve it and earned the "golden years" of retirement. While you are at it, don't forget about your parents, children and grandchildren that will inherit this catastrophic economic future.

Time for you to get off your ass and smell the slime that is becoming the new established way of doing business in America when it comes to employees.
Here is a basic lesson in real new world solutions for Corporations in getting rid of you and those pesky plans that you paid your own money into for all your working life.

American Airlines deliberately filed for bankruptcy on November 29th, 2011.
American was the world's largest carrier as recently as 2006. But mergers have pushed it to third in terms of miles flown by paying passengers.

However, at the time it filed for bankruptcy, it had 4 billion dollars in the Bank and could have continued paying its bills, it did not have to go belly up. Its Board of Directors decided it had been losing money for awhile and that the Company was not providing a "cost effective" means to operate, meaning it had to become smaller by reducing its costs. Instead of getting rid of its top heavy layers of incompetent  management, perks of disgusting luxury, enormous waste, it naturally picked on it's employees to carry most of the weight of these cost reductions.

More important as a business strategy, declaring bankruptcy will trim its debt load, cut its operating costs and cruelly, with the utmost of evil intentions, void all it's union contracts, RETIREMENT PLANS, pensions for its workers that were signed, paid into by employee money, agreed to, and " legally guaranteed" to be paid to its employees.
What Corporations are doing like American Airlines is called stealing, rape fraud, assault with a deadly weapon, mugging, robbing a Bank and if you or I did this in our personal lives, we would go to jail. However, in the false democracy we call America, it's perfectly legal for the privileged to have their own set of rules, laws, loopholes that let them do this and more, with no fear of getting in trouble because they own our Government through the corrupt, rich politicians who are mere puppets, doing whatever is desired by their masters. 

There is no stigma attached to the gross mismanagement of company's such as American Airlines, it's screwing of employees, in fact Analysts hailed it "as very smart". You try getting away doing that if you owe bills, or are behind on your mortgage payments.

The double standards here for Government, Corporate America, the affluent are deadly obvious and beyond offensive.
No one cares and you are on your own, non existent to the fat cats who run this mockery of a world, get used to it.  

The lives of working class families, their American dreams, decades of blood work performed by workers, retirement plans all due them by legal contracts are being destroyed, erased as if they never existed, by doing what is now common in the inhuman, greed filled Corporate World.

So you think someday you will be able to retire. Think again.