[OPE-L:8683] retirement and the working class

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Fri Mar 28 2003 - 11:02:40 EST

The following article claims that many financial planners say
that "a $1 million dollar nest egg is a bare minimum" amount
of savings required for retirement for most people in the US.
Yet, the same article claims that, according to the Employee
Benefits Research Institute, "more than 75% of people aged
40 to 59 have less than $100,000 saved towards retirement."

The advice given in the article is to:

a) take a part-time job!  Yet, if you take a part-time job to
be able to supplement your income then you are *not* fully 

b) take out a home equity line of credit.  And, thereby, run
the risk of losing your home.  Also, for this to be an option
-- as the article notes -- you would need substantial equity
in your home.  This is hardly an option for most working-class
families who either own relatively inexpensive houses or rent 
apartments or houses.

c) replace your mortgage with an interest-only loan.  Doing so,
though,  will mean that you won't build equity in your home and
you are "forestalling the inevitable -- at some point your home loan
has to be paid off."  Hardly a solution.

d) "move to a less-costly area"!  

All in all, this advice sounds like "Let them eat cake!".  Realistically,
it means that most members of the working-class will have to postpone
their retirement and work more years.  This is especially the case
because of the great losses experienced in pension funds and
individual retirement plans in the current recession.  Compounding the
problem is age discrimination against older workers.  Will this mean 
that in the US workers will to a much greater extent die before they
are able to retire?

In solidarity, Jerry


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