All over America tonight, millions of elderly Americans are wondering if their money is going to run out before it is time for them to die. 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 elderly Americans that are leading lives of “quiet desperation” as they try to get by on meager fixed incomes. Many are surviving on Ramen noodles, oatmeal, peanut butter or whatever other cheap food they can find in the stores. There are some that are so short on cash that they will not turn on the heat in their homes until things get really desperate. As health care costs soar, millions of elderly Americans find themselves deep in debt and facing huge medical bills that they cannot possibly pay. A lot of older Americans would go back to work if they could, but jobs are scarce and very few companies seem to even want to consider hiring them. 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.
Sadly, most retirees have not adequately 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 federal government has already begun to pay out significantly more in Social Security benefits than they are taking in, and the years ahead are projected to be downright apocalyptic for the Social Security program.