Given major delays in
retirement plans, 80 is the new 65
says CNN Money.
A quarter of middle-class Americans
are now so pessimistic about their savings that they are planning to delay retirement until they are at least 80 years old -- two years longer than the average person is even
expected to live.
It sounds depressing, but
for many it's a necessity. On average, Americans have only saved a mere 7% of the
retirement nest egg they were hoping
to build, according to
Wells Fargo's latest
retirement survey that polled 1,500 middle-class Americans.
While respondents (whose ages ranged
from 20 to 80) had median savings of only $25,000, their median retirement savings goal was $350,000. And 30% of people in their
60s -- right around the traditional
retirement age of 65 -- that
were surveyed had saved less
than $25,000 for retirement.
As a result, many people aren't in a hurry to quit their day
Three-fourths of middle-class Americans
expect to work throughout retirement. And this
includes the 25% of Americans
who say they will "need to work until at least age 80" before being able to retire comfortably.
Insecurity, Debt Weigh on Retirement Confidence, Savings
The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reports Job Insecurity, Debt Weigh on Retirement
confidence in their ability
to retire comfortably is
stagnant at historically low levels. Just 14 percent are
very confident they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement (statistically
equivalent to the low of
13 percent measured in
2011 and 2009).
Employment insecurity looms large: Forty-two percent identify job uncertainty as the most
pressing financial issue facing
most Americans today.
confidence about having enough
money to pay for medical expenses and long-term care expenses in retirement remains well below their
confidence levels for paying
Many workers report they have virtually no savings and investments. In total, 60 percent of workers
report that the total value of their
and investments, excluding
the value of their primary
home and any defined benefit plans, is less than $25,000.
report they are significantly
more reliant on Social Security as a major source of their
retirement income than current workers expect to be.
percent of workers expect
to receive benefits from a defined benefit plan in retirement, only
33 percent report that they
and/or their spouse currently have such a benefit with a current or previous employer.
than half of workers (56 percent) report they
and/or their spouse have
not tried to calculate
how much money they will need to have saved by the time they retire so that they
can live comfortably in
What About the Expected
Retirement of Nuclear Power Plants?
I picked up links to the above
articles in a surprising
place. Dawn Stover, writing
for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
compared the retirement of workers
to the "The new retirement" for nuclear
Today, only 14 percent
of Americans age 25 and older are confident that they will have enough money to retire comfortably,
according to a recent survey
by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). Another
by Wells Fargo, reported that
a quarter of middle-class Americans
now plan to postpone
retirement until they are
at least 80 years old -- longer than many of them are expected to live. For Americans
facing an uncertain financial future, 80 is the new
Some are calling it "the new retirement." But it really should
be called "the no
And senior citizens aren't
alone. Nuclear reactors are experiencing some of the same woes: Retirement age is fast approaching
or already in the rearview
mirror, but there is a lot less money in the nest egg than
At the 44 US nuclear reactors that have already received license extensions, 60 is the
new 40. And even when those reactors reach the end of their working lives, they may not be able to move on to the final stage. According to a recent article in The
New York Times, the operators of 20 US nuclear reactors -- including some with licenses that expire soon -- do not have
sufficient funding for
prompt dismantling. If these
reactors can't keep working, their owners "intend to let them sit like industrial
relics for 20 to 60 years
or even longer while interest accrues in the reactors'
Is it crazy for someone to delay his retirement past the age he can
expect to live? Sure, but that's
essentially what the nuclear industry plans to do with many of its reactors. And it should not come as a surprise
that the NRC has no problem
with this plan. After all, we're talking about a regulatory agency that issues 40-year licenses for a process that creates a radioactive waste problem lasting tens of thousands of years.
Crazy to Plan Retirement Past
Dawn says "Is it crazy for someone to delay his retirement past the age he can expect
to live". Sorry Dawn, that's
not crazy at all. If you have insufficient money, you need to work.
Some want to work because they like what
they are doing.
If you are seeking crazy, try these:
What is crazy is
to expect social security
to take care of all your
It's also crazy to expect to receive defined benefits even if you are not in a defined benefit plan.
Finally, it's crazy for public unions to
think they are going to get all of their promised benefits when it will bankrupt
cities and states to do so.
If you are looking for
more craziness, Dawn wants
a "carbon tax
to lift job prospects".
Here is another crazy idea: Dawn talks of "forcing
people to save more and protect
retirement savings from
the vagaries of the financial
One point I happen to agree
with Dawn on. It's crazy to issue "40-year licenses
for a process that creates a radioactive waste problem lasting tens of thousands of years"
and have no plans for anything but the first 40 years.