The idea of “saving for retirement” is nothing foreign in America. We work our entire lives and hope that someday we can use the money we’ve made however we see fit. Some elderly Americans travel, some pick up new hobbies, but some continue to work because their retirement is not as solid as they thought it’d be in today’s struggling economy.
The National Institute of Aging produced a chart showing that retired Americans are spending an average of $31,365 per year while only bringing in $30,480. If older Americans are relying on retirement funds, they may be struggling.
According to data supplied by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, “Retired households spend about 80 percent of what working households spend, but their earnings are only 57 percent of what working households take home.”
Unfortunately for older Americans, the majority of this money is not being spent on traveling or newfound hobbies. Instead, the money is going to pay for healthcare.
Retired life in America may be a far cry away from what it used to be. And it is coming on later and later. Many Americans work well into their sixties or seventies because retirement money is just simply not enough to live on in today’s economy.
As investment training firm Compound Stock Earnings reports, “Based on the way Social Security was set up in 1940 and increases to life expectancy, experts expect that the full retirement age will be around 70 years old.”
So long, retirement around age 62.
When it comes to employment, everyone knows the American workweek is from nine to five, Monday through Friday. Countless Americans work this schedule for the majority of their lifetime. The hope is that we are saving enough money over these years to be able to eventually stop. Isn’t that the “American way”? Maybe not anymore it isn’t. It is harder now than it has ever been to make a living and people are not retiring as early as they once could.
Hopefully one day, this will turn back around. We were not made to work so late into our lives. Unfortunately, we have to find a way to make ends meet. And for elderly Americans, this means trudging through the workweek. All this money put away to save for retirement is getting used up before retirement even arrives.
The cost of living will only continue to increase as time progresses. What happens when our incomes don’t increase as rapidly? Ask the countless Americans working well into their sixties.
Lindsey Miller contributes regularly to IndyPosted and InterPacket.