What Retirement?

Coronavirus Shock Is Destroying Americans’ Retirement Dreams

For older people, the coronavirus crisis has been an appalling shock. Many can’t travel or see grandchildren. Even buying groceries is a risk. Their life savings are melting as the global economy shuts down and financial markets plummet. The pain may be particularly acute in the U.S., where Americans rely on a retirement system that was broken well before a pandemic dashed it to pieces.

6 thoughts on “What Retirement?

  1. This was a very good and sadly sobering article. It is the reality of things, and I must face the facts. But it is kind of depressing to see such a huge portion of what I have saved and invested for the last 55 years, at least on paper, be gone in an instant. And I doubt that I have enough years remaining to see this recovery.

    But at least I am a lucky one who has both Social Security and a military pension. So I have enough for day-to-day living expenses. And there is still enough in savings and investments to pay for the occasional large purchases that come up, such as the refrigerator I had to buy this past weekend to replace the one that was dying.

      1. We probably don’t have enough time remaining either to see the stock market recover. We fortunately have a small DB pension plan benefit that started sending checks already. Both of us are still working and thus deferring any SS payouts. Yes, the Bloomberg article is sobering and in the near future as a nation we’ll all have to figure out how to feed and shelter a lot of our population.

      2. What does DB stand for? I wonder how the nation fed and sheltered people during the Great Depression? My parents were high school and college age in 1929. I remember my mother saying she was one of two in her college graduating class to get a job. My father graduated from college and returned to his hometown to work as a newspaper reporter. Which he did until World War II started.

      3. DB is defined benefit as in a fixed monthly payment. You’ll see DC or defined contribution as in IRA’s and 401k accounts where your monthly benefit is not fixed, nor guaranteed and the investment risk is with the individual and not a corporation/business. So my defined benefit plan is like your military pension.

      4. Got it. Thanks for the explanation!

        I believe I was faced with the decision when I reached a certain age with a couple annuities I own. I could annuitize and receive fixed income for life or for a certain number of years. Or I could just leave the money in the annuity and withdraw it as needed, first taking out money that would be considered as contributed so I wouldn’t have to pay regular rate income tax. Something like that.

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