A Pandemic is a disease or problem that is widespread and affects persons over a wide geographical area, such as an entire country or continent. The origins of the word are from the Greek "pandemos" which means "pertaining to all people".
That is the reality of the situation we are facing with retirement in America right now: a pandemic. Jonh Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group, put it a little differently, yet still ominously, when he said "Our nation's system of retirement security is imperiled, headed for a serious train wreck. That wreck is not merely waiting to happen; we are running on a dangerous track that is leading directly to a serious crash that will disable major parts or our retirement system."
There are a number of socioeconomic factors contributing to the current situation, including higher life expectancies, lower levels of personal savings, and of course, the entire baby boomer generation. 2008 marked the year that the first baby boomer became eligible for social security benefits. Between the years 2008 and 2030, approximately 80 million baby boomers will become eligible to receive Social Security benefits, while at the same time potentially leaving the workforce. This will put an enormous increase of stress on an already over-burdened system. In 1950, each retiree's Social Security benefit was funded by 16 workers paying into the system. Today, there are only 3.3 workers for each retiree. Now, with the baby boomers starting to retire, that number is estimated to drop to only 2 workers for each retiree by the year 2025.
State and corporate penion funds aren't faring much better than the feds. America's largest 100 corporate pension plans were underfunded by $127 billion at the end of 2008, before the full effects of the recent recession. The number of pensions considered "at risk" within failing companies has tripled as a direct result of recent economic conditions. And the situation at a state level is even worse. The amount of unfunded pensions for state/city/county government workers, including teachers, is now a staggering $3.57 trillion. All at a time when unemployment is up and tax revenues are down.
The bottom line is the retirement crisis we are now facing will impact everyone in the country. A pandemic. This is not a problem that the government will be able to fix. At this point we should just hope that they can stop the bleeding in Social Security and state penions. This is a problem that can only be fixed through the participation of everyone who will be impacted if it isn't. Which means everyone who wants to retire.
Retirement programs aren't going to disappear; but they are going to have to change in order to survive, and these changes will have dramatic impacts on how and when you will be able to retire. It is imperative that Americans become more educated and self-reliant in the retirement planning process if they want to be prepared for a secure and comfortable retirement lifestyle.
the Retirement Course provides a comprehensive retirement planning education that will give you the knowledge and tools necessary to understand and plan for your retirement. It is a dynamic and interactive program that will help engage you in the planning process. But most importantly, it will empower you to take control of your financial future, by helping you create your own customized path to retirement, and giving you the resources necessary to stay on that path until retirement is achieved.