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603 comments

Um, or... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24841395)

It could be that a lot of people are still healthy enough to continue working after age 65... and some people actually want to!

Re:Um, or... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24841515)

Thats wishful thinking. Its because they need the money, of course, there is people that keep working because they enjoy it, but they have done so in the past as well, so it should not be visible in the statstics.

I bet if US fixed its broken health care system you would see that the trend would be reversed.

Re:Um, or... (5, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841715)

How is health care related to old age pensions being insufficient ?

Fix health care, and all you do is make old people live longer, thus further burdening the pension system.

The fact is, in most western countries, the average age is increasing. The people on pensions now are being paid with the taxes you and I pay today. When 30 years down the road, we are pensioners, there simply won't be any money left to pay everyone a pension.

I was advised as far back as 1987 that I shouldn't rely on the UK state pension, and should think about a private one ... here we are 21 years later, and oops, pension payouts aren't sufficient ... anyone surprised ?

Re:Um, or... (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841879)

In the US the cost of healthcare outstrips what you can expect from pensions and government programs, so healthcare eats into your retirement income.

Yes, we all know that no one who isn't within 10-15 years of collecting isn't going to. This doesn't mean that people who are collecting today are stupid for doing so. The spiking costs of healthcare make what would have been a livable stipend insufficient.

Re:Um, or... (3, Informative)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842109)

The other thing is that in the US pensions are employer-run (or farmed out), not government systems. Not only do we know that Social Security will be nearly impossible for us to collect, but employer pensions are going out the door as well, in favor of a 401k or nothing at all. The message is to start investing in your 401k as soon as you have the option, and to keep rolling that money over into other retirement funds when you change jobs.

Additionally, health care only adds so much to our life spans. Average ages are getting older more because people are choosing not to have children, or have fewer children than in the post-WWII era. My father was one of eight kids, and my wife's father was one of fifteen.

Re:Um, or... (4, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842217)

IIRC in Europe its a pension whether it comes from a private employer or the govt.

Private pensions aren't actually that good an idea. Lot of industries (steel, auto, airline) that gave pensions to employees are currently struggling under massive pension debt because of technological advances that have substantially reduced the workforces in those companies...Pretty much the same thing that's going to happen to the US in a decade or so.

It'd be better to have a government-run pension plan that everyone pays into (than a private system) to help the system itself adapt to the changing workforce.

Re:Um, or... (3, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841571)

It's not that pensions aren't enough. If there is a need for 10 caregivers, and there are only 2 young people, 8 people are going to be neglected, regardless of how much money they all have. There are not enough young people. There hasn't been any appreciable domestic reproduction for generations.

Understand, it was the fact that there were no dependent young that made those boomers rich all their lives.

Society is indeed wealthier if that young man and that young women stay single and work overtime than they are if she gets pregnant, only works part time and creates a new dependent who will have to be cared for for 20 years.

Well, it's wealthier for almost 50 years, anyways... Then, it collapses because there are hardly any people around to participate in maintaining the critical infrastructure upon which everyone has grown to depend.

Rome is burning. Shut up and dance.

Re:Um, or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24841781)

Spluh! Try viddying a demographics study some time brah,.. 300M+ americans can't be wrong!

Uhhh, what the hell are you talking about? (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842027)

The boomers had plenty of kids. My parents were boomers, and I've found there is no lack of people around my age. The population growth in the United States is still positive, in case you haven't noticed. No, there isn't a perfect distribution among age groups but where do you get this idea that baby boomers didn't have any children? Do you see a massive gap in our population? I sure don't.

Demographics Is Indeed Key (2, Insightful)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842069)

Western Europe, Russia, Japan will be going into population decline. America is holding steady.

But holding steady isn't good enough if you want to have some huge nanny state (universal health care, Social Security, etc.)

Ironically, the people who support all those expensive long-term program are the ones having the fewest amount of babies.

As to retirement, less young folks mean you'll have to work longer. Unless there is a major leap in productivity.

Re:Um, or... (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842119)

Fortunately for us, we're still in a position to attract skilled immigrants to make up the labor shortfall...That gives us the benefit of their labor, without having to have paid their costs as they were growing up.

Re:Um, or... (1, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842179)

Fortunately for us, we're still in a position to attract skilled immigrants to make up the labor shortfall...That gives us the benefit of their labor, without having to have paid their costs as they were growing up.

No, you're not. You make immigrants feel like criminals and second class citizens, people are afraid to come to your country on business these days. Plus, after absorbing Fannie May and Freddie Mac into the Fed, and being about to absorb a major bank into the Fed, you're poised to lose your AAA borrowing status from the world bank. Which means no more printing US dollars so the rest of the world can hoard them as oil currency instead of cashing them in for US domestic production. Which means you're going to move from being an empire to being a nation.

Face it. You're fucked.

Re:Um, or... (4, Interesting)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842151)

Well said. At 44 years old, I expect to work until 70, and I expect to pay higher Social Security taxes along the way. It's not good or bad policy, just reality.

There is only one thing that could help make a difference for most Americans - owning lot's of foreign investments that we could sell off for a while during crunch time. Unfortunately, we've become a debter nation [blogs.com] , so that plain went to Hell in a hand basket.

Re:Um, or... (4, Insightful)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841579)

Think again.... Most people don't have the resources. I know people over 65 who work 2 jobs, 7 days a week, to pay medical bills, rent, and food.

A handful of people work because they want to. Most work because they have no choice. Do you think the greeters at Wal-Mart are there because they want to? Or because they have to eat?

Your statement is the sort of spin I'd expect from the neocons. Ultimately, people want to work because the alternative is starving, or not taking your meds, or living on the street....

As someone who is nearing that age, I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to retire without working. It's not easy, and our broken medical system is a huge part of it.

Re:Um, or... (4, Informative)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841945)

my parents work to pay for health insurance.. their house and cars are all paid for - they have no debt - they have a savings.. but having to pay over 1k a month for insurance and still having 8 years till medicade kicks in .. yea they work just to have health insruance

Re:Um, or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24842139)

Um...people of retirement age are automatically on Medicare (in the U.S., at least), meaning they have all the medical coverage they could want or need, at very low cost to them.

Both my father and father in law are officially retired, but are still working. Why? Because they are bored with golf and sitting around the house. They get paid to travel. They work part-time. What's not to like?

Re:Um, or... (5, Informative)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842171)

Yeah, my grandmother was in that situation until relatively recently. She kept working until she was about 75 and ill health forced her to stop working - note, not "retire".

The reason for this? She is a lazy bitch who never worked a real job in her life and relied on whatever man she was with to provide for her. Her first husband (my grandfather) left her. Her second was a great old guy who finally died of Parkinson's and left her a wad of cash. the third guy was a bum and a hustler and took that money when he ran to Mexico - literally.

She never really saved any money, never invested herself in a job with future, and never planned. She doesn't have a pension because she never had a career. Social Security is keeping her afloat, and the fact that she scammed her way into a religiously affiliated care facility. And when that runs out, my Dad will take care of her, because as neglectful as she was, she is still family.

Yes, there are plenty of people who had bad luck, and perhaps don't "deserve" what they are dealing with in their old age. But that does not negate the fact that there are also those who squandered their good luck, and are now asking others to pay the price.

Indeed - sitting at home doing nothing, very dull (4, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841719)

I know whan my dad retired he was bored out of his mind since he loved the job he did. If he could have stayed on working I know he would have done. Plus just because you hit 65 doesn't mean you suddenly arn't interested in earning money. I don't see working beyond 65 as a problem personally unless the person is unwell or unfit to continue in the job.

And of course , if you're a COBOL coder you'll probably still be in demand until the day you go face down in your keyboard (or should that be punched card stack?)

Re:Um, or... (3, Interesting)

proud american (1003577) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841733)

My mother is 84 and still works. She owns her home and does not need the money. She started her present job when she was 63. She is in much better mental and physical health then any of her non-working peers.

Re:Um, or... (2, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842107)

This seems like the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy if you think that she is in great mental and physical condition because she was working. It's also possible that she continued working precisely because she was in good mental and physical condition for her age compared to her peers.

In any event, I hate this idea that there is only a choice between a) working and staying mentally active, or b) retiring and becoming a vegetable in front of the television. What about traveling once you hit 65? You can live quite well in many parts of the world on even small pensions. I myself have come across plenty of grizzled old timers on the backpacking trails of the world, and primitive means of travel often have you maintaining mental skills like language learning and complicated map reading. Or, you could dedicate your retirement to study, like those who finish university degrees in their '70s. Work sucks and there are always alternatives to it.

Re:Um, or... (2, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841745)

It could be that a lot of people are still healthy enough to continue working after age 65... and some people actually want to!

This reason gets my vote. Boredom is a sure way to the grave, as well. I know people who are retired from TWO different jobs, and they still enjoy working. Granted, it isn't full-time, but once you get used to living a certain way, hold habits die hard.

Re:Um, or... (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841925)

I was watching Sci-Fi yesterday and saw an Episode of Star Trek: TNG that I think is quite profound given the article.

Relics, the Enterprise crew finds a crashed ship on the Dysen Sphere that had two individuals in the transporter buffed, one was Scotty. Those who know the episode will understand. For those that don't I don't feel like explaining it to you.

Re:Um, or... (4, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841763)

Either they choose to keep working, or they didn't put enough of THEIR OWN money away for retirement.

Why should we trust someone else to plan retirement for us? Yes, yes, I know, 40 years ago was a different time, but for those who didn't work a cushy job that came with a pension (my paternal grandparents were farmers, my maternal grandparents knew the pension would be insufficient), you realize you need to sock money away for retirement.

Myself, I plan on being financially independent by 55 (and have the plan to do it), although I have no intentions to stop working. At that point in time, work is no longer a necessity, you aren't doing it because you NEED it, but because you WANT it, and I can stop to take a trip with my wife whenever we feel the urge, or go visit the kids, etc. It's a good place to be in.

Re:Um, or... (0, Troll)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842077)

Either they choose to keep working, or they didn't put enough of THEIR OWN money away for retirement.

You willfully blind people, always talking about money. Look at demographics. Look at how they are affecting what is currently happening in Japan. Old folks homes with robots and minimal staff, looking like the worst elements of the Matrix

Look at hyper-inflation.Watch some old videos of Russian grandmothers trying to buy bread with wheelbarrows of cash.

Understand that this is the future for all western cultures. Blame the chemist who sells the birth control and the feminists and capitalists who tell young people they should get an education and a mortgage and put off child rearing till their 30s or later. Blame the aftermath second world war for creating the cultural trauma that created this malignant social order. But for fucks sake, understand what is happening.

Re:Um, or... (1)

gerbosan (1295084) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842167)

Certainly many are healthy enough to keep working. Due advances in medical care and their living.
But you haven't mentioned about their lives, what a retired and healthy worker can do with the new free time? Staying home watching TV? Taking sunbaths?

That is also one of the main reason retired workforce keep working, on one side is work and the other is voidness and uncertainty.

Re:Um, or... (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842211)

If you want to work any longer than you have to, you either have a really, really great job or a really, really unfufilling life. I like my job, but I absolutely HATE that alarm clock. I hate having to go to bed early because the alarm clock is going off in the morning. I hate the lack of freedom working imposes.

My dad's been retired for fifteen years or more, he says he's so busy he doesn't know how he ever found time to work.

Healthy enough to work? I hope I'm healthy enough to spend my days and nights having fun and enjoying my freedom! I'm eligible for retirement in three years, but I won't be able to afford it for another ten.

One more way it could be. (3, Insightful)

certain death (947081) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841403)

I plan on working past retirement, but not doing what the pointy haired boss wants, but what I want. Just because I retire does not mean I have to sit at home, or be on a permanent vacation.

Re:One more way it could be. (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841721)

For a lot of us, the distinction isn't really there. I'm a freelancer, so the boundary between working and not-working is quite fluid. Sometimes I'm working on things I definitely know I will be able to sell. Sometimes I'm working on things I'm fairly sure I won't be able to sell, but which are fun. Sometimes I'm working on things that are fun, but I might be able to sell later. From some perspectives I work most of the time, but since a lot of it is stuff I never expect to be paid for it's not always such a clear-cut boundary. I'm not sure what retirement would really mean for me. Possibly that I'd stop expecting to be paid for anything I did, but since being paid isn't really the motivation for any of it I don't see that it would make a huge difference.

Re:One more way it could be. (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841983)

Interesting. What kind of freelance work do you do?

Re:One more way it could be. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842191)

Mainly writing. Technical articles for a couple of publications (a few have made it to the front page of /.) and (so far) one book. I occasionally do some consulting, but I haven't really built up the network of contacts that would let me gain a significant fraction of my income from that, although I'd be interested in doing more. I also co-run a hippyware project [etoileos.com] , and do some research and teaching (short-term posts at the university).

If only... (4, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841405)

If only there were some sort of government solution that would guarantee retirement income for everyone. That would fix everything.

Re:If only... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24841433)

If only people didn't look to government solutions and planned for own retirements.

Re:If only... (4, Insightful)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841679)

If only people could afford too.

Re:If only... (1)

xonar (1069832) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842135)

If only Social Security wasn't mandatory, it would be relatively trivial to have the same amount of your paycheck deposited to a high interest account.

Re:If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24842147)

you could ever save enough to overcome the catastrophic medical costs of certain medical emergency or long term care, for yourself or a loved one. For every one older person out and about, there is likely ten infirm somewhere, somehow, and they are likely broke.

Re:If only,if only... (1)

Lucid 3ntr0py (1348103) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841449)

I agree. Like what if I paid into it the entire time I was working, and the government could use my money while I worked to invest it in projects that would then make my life easier once I retired?

That would probably take some kind of mathematical genius to figure out, and even then it would depend on multiple realities.

Re:If only,if only... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841675)

Like what if I paid into it the entire time I was working, and the government could use my money while I worked to invest it in projects that would then make my life easier once I retired?

So you're talking about investing in Treasury securities?

Re:If only,if only... (2, Insightful)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841769)

They'd invest it in some awesome way, like giving your money to China to plan for your future of not having to be a slave to the Chinese when they call in the debt!

Hooray for big government! Who's with me!?

Re:If only... (0, Offtopic)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841647)

If only if only
the wood pecker sighs
the bark on the trees was as soft as
the sky
as the wolf waits below
hungry and lonely
he cries to the moo-oo-oon
if only if only

Re:If only... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841877)

My mother is now approaching retirement age, and has just switched careers from being a teacher to being a librarian (letting her work in a library seems about as sensible as letting an alcoholic work in an off-license, but I digress). She and my stepfather have more or less finished paying off the mortgage on their house, so they have no rent or mortgage costs (currently the biggest money sink in my expenses). They eat well, but even budgeting £10 per day (which is enough to eat good food at home and eat out occasionally) that only comes to around £3.5K per year per person. With an interest rate of around 6.5%, that would need a capital sum of around £50K to cover. Assuming they'd each invested £1K per anum in a savings account for their working life (not including compound interest) then they would have more than this. The tax-free savings limit in the UK has just gone up from £3k per year to £3.6K and even with my laissez faire approach to work I've not had any problems investing this much. At this rate, someone who starts working at 21 could retire and have enough to afford food at 40, without government hand-outs if they inherited a house. With better-managed investments and a higher return rate retiring in your 30s is quite feasible.

Obviously, if you wanted to actually do something in your retirement you'd want more savings than this. On the other hand, if you're retiring at 35 then doing an occasional bit of consulting to fund your shiny toys allowance doesn't seem entirely unreasonable.

Re:If only... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841923)

Ooops. I forgot to include energy bills in these numbers, but as a ballpark figure they're in vaguely the right place. I also didn't include compound interest from savings over the period before you start withdrawing, which helps to even things out - by the time you get to 35, the money you put in at 21 will have doubled, although obviously not in real terms.

Re:If only... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842205)

If the interest rate you can get in the USA is around 2% and the real-world non-manipulated inflation rate is around 10% then how long does it take to save inflation adjusted $50K if you save $1K per year, while losing 8% per year...

Investments! (4, Insightful)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841417)

No problem, just privatize social security! We can trust GOP lobbyists to put our money in the next Enron and secure our financial future, right?! In all seriousness, "people" are too dumb to plan for retirement on their own. That, and a combination of being stretched too thin financially. That extra $5/week from lower taxes goes into the gas tank, not the 401k. Before everyone gets all uppity about "omg people just need to be responsible, not MY PROBLEM that they cant plan for retirement!" you are entirely correct - its not your fault that most people (whom have never been properly educated on the subject nor had such education/information easily accessible to them) are unable to plan for retirement. Its not their fault either.

Re:Investments! (1, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841641)

Those things that make your life easier in retirement are those things that make your life easier in general. And for the most part, they were developed by the private sector.

If more government is the answer, try a Cuban retirement.

Re:Investments! (3, Insightful)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841703)

So free medicine is a result of ... what exactly in the "private sector" ?

Re:Investments! (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841893)

Free?
That word that you are using, I dont think it means what you think it means.

Re:Investments! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24841993)

There is no such thing as "free medicine". There is medicine you pay for when you use it (Uninsured), medicine you pay for whether you use it or not (State-Sponsored/Taxpayer-Funded medicine), and hybrid models (most Health Insurance Plans with deductibles). I'm not advocating any of these, just pointing out the inaccuracy of pretending that there is such a thing as free medicine.

Re:Investments! (2, Informative)

Falstius (963333) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842225)

Don't forget medicine that other people pay for, and then send to your country where you get it for free.

PS. Of course, propping up third world economies is in the rich countries' interests. Just ask Marx.

PPS. To the GGGGGP, incorrect use of 'who' is almost unnoticable. In correct use of 'whom' is both stupid, pretentious and glaring.

Re:Investments! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24841713)

So let me get this straight ... people are too dumb to figure out how to save their money, so those of us who are smart -- let's call ourselves the Elites of Society -- can take their money from them, invest it for them and figure out how much they need and when they need it. Brilliant! I'm in.

Re:Investments! (2, Insightful)

CompCons (650700) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841765)

Typical helpless blather. The government is not the solution. Government employees have, on average, lower IQs and less motivation to get anything accomplished than private sector employees. I trust the government to do very little right. Look at the mess we have in the current social security and medicare system. I'll handle my own retirement even after they take thier 14% off the top. If I had that extra 14% I could probably retire 7 years earlier. Stop asking the government to take MY money becuase you're worried your friends are too dumb to take care of themselves. If you are concerned people aren't educated enough to handle thier finances then start a company teaching them. Mostly, if they aren't concerned about it, you shouldn't be either. It's thier life and they are free to screw it up as they please.

Re:Investments! (0, Flamebait)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841929)

If you had that extra 14% you would be able to retire 7 years earlier to a dirt-road with no electricity, or did you not realize govt bailouts... excuse me, "subsidies" of failed industry are what fund those things? Or perhaps if the neocon version is correct, if you had that 14% you could retire and live in the alqaeda states of America? Just because you dont realize that you get far more value from paying your tax money then you could EVER get spending it on your own, doesnt mean the rest of us need to live in the stoneage.

Re:Investments! (4, Insightful)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841835)

Make it optional. I am smart enough to save for my retirement, so let me do it myself. I've already realized that there won't be any social security for anyone my age so I'm already saving with that in mind. Lets go ahead and take the next step and let me opt out of paying the social security tax completely. Obviously this won't happen since SS was never a 'savings' program anyways. SS was always designed as a wealth transfer program. A way to take care of the old by taking money from the young. The problem is that this plan only works when you have enough young people to take care of the old people.

Sure, blame the income (4, Insightful)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841425)

The reason for that is quite evident: pensions are not enough for sufficient living.

Or: expenses are not enough under control for sufficient living. We all spend too much money on frivolous nonsense during spring and summer of life, but we don't have to.

(Not blaming anyone personally, I'm the first to realise I might have a big problem if all the drinking and smoking just doesn't kill me in time.)

Re:Sure, blame the income (1, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841525)

I'm the first to realise I might have a big problem if all the drinking and smoking just doesn't kill me in time.

I hear there are companies that sell a solution to this problem. Like Beretta, Browning, Glock, Remington, etc.

Re:Sure, blame the income (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841779)

I think it has to do with the simple fact that people don't realize just how much money they need to live on when they retire. People sock away $x and realize that when they aren't spending 10 hours of their day doing work related items (to/from work, work, winding down on the couch afterward) they are going to need to do SOMETHING.

As people have said before, people at age 65 are more active than they were in the past and thus they have the energy and desire to do something other than sit at home and play solitaire and gin, play Bingo at the senior center, or whatever the hell else my grandparents did all day.

Doing "stuff" costs money and people seem to forget that.

Re:Sure, blame the income (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841981)

From my personal standpoint, we have a plan to not have to spend so much. My wife and I have a house near enough to a city center to not need two cars once we dont have to have jobs. The house will be paid for, so now our three largest bills are wiped fairly clean.

However, my mother in law who is in the age range this aritcle cites is continuing to take out loans for furniture and home improvement, while having 3 years to pay on a car and 15 to go on the house. She has had some bad luck, but planning and realistic expectations, and a hair of delaying gratification would go miles to improve her situation and make retiring possible.

Re:Sure, blame the income (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841887)

The whole point to "Retirement" is to enjoy what life you have left after 40+ years of hard work. Why quit your job only to live barely within your means, when you should be able to live like you currently do?

Re:Sure, blame the income (2, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842005)

Don't forget credit card interest, aka The Stupid Tax. As a shareholder of a credit card company, I would like to thank all of those who finance their unnecessary consumption with a 30% interest rate.

It's amazing how many people voluntarily accept a permanent decrease in their income because they absolutely had to buy lots of crap years back, but never made more than the minimum payments.

Re:Sure, blame the income (1)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842095)

No, we don't have to. But I'd much rather live it up now when I'm young and attractive, and can do all the crazy shit that my grandparents wish they could do, and work a little longer into retirement. I figure by the time I hit 65, average life span will be in the 90 year range (It's been consistently rising for decades, seems pretty likely). Saving up enough money so that I don't have to do any work for 25 years will either be easy (If I hit it big, make that billion dollar idea, which I hopefully do soon. I don't much like working), or impossible (I have a 401k that I put a bunch of money into, maybe that will work out, but 25 years is a long time). Working after 65 may suck, but it's better than the alternative of working tons of extra hours now to save up for the "promised land" of retirement, which seems to me to be pretty boring.

I'll see you kids in Vegas.

If only... (4, Funny)

hemp (36945) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841435)

If only you got a pension for reading Slashdot. I could retire now.

Re:If only... (2, Funny)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841741)

So would the people who RTFA would get the same pension as everyone who just reads Slashdot?

Sounds pretty much the same as the working world to me...

Isn't the more obvious reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24841437)

that people are living longer? (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005140.html)

"Quite evident"? (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841439)

Sure, some people are going to keep working because they need the money, but that's hardly proof of the fundamental reason for the trend. I think it's much more likely that it's related to the fact that people are living longer and healthier, and a lot of people (most?) don't want to just lie around the house.

In the "old days", 65 was one foot in the grave. These days, there are a lot more healthy 65 year olds that aren't content to believe that life is over and you might as well start waiting to die.

Re:"Quite evident"? (1)

gusmao (712388) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841655)

Right on spot. And with the advancements in medicine and new drugs like Viagra, people in their sixties can still enjoy one of the greatest pleasures of life: lie about your sexual performance.

Re:"Quite evident"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24841903)

I agree but would like to add something in the old days there was typically a mandatory retirement at 65 that has since been relaxed. As such I have a 77 year old grandmother that will literally die before she retires

"pensions are not enough for sufficient living" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24841463)

Neither are hobbies.

Just sayin'.

Most pensions and retirement were based on (4, Informative)

networkconsultant (1224452) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841489)

You living for 10 to 15 years after your retirement. Now the average age is rising thanks to medical science and the quality of your life has improved so you live longer, and will require more money.

Average age? (3, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841495)

Does average age have to do anything with it?

I can imagine that many pension plans are about letting people live for 10 years. From 65 to 75. Now people get older and suddenly need to have money for 20 years.

That together with the fact that health wise, those are the most expensive years. People paying a LOT of money for 1 or 2 more years. My great-aunt [wikipedia.org] always though it was stupid to spend so much money on the elderly and that money should be given to healthy people.

Re:Average age? (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841761)

i'm healthy. will she send me some?

So what? (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841531)

If you didn't earn enough money to support yourself in the lifestyle you want, you have no right to that lifestyle. I'm sick of the entitlement attitude that permeates this society. The day that the American Dream went from a dream of liberty, to a house, 2 cars, middle class family, dog, cat, etc. was the day that this country sold itself out to the highest bidder. If Ben Franklin were alive, he'd probably add a corollary to his infamous quip about security: they that lust after wealth more than liberty deserve neither; it was from that lust for economic equality, unearned money and sense of entitlement that most of the horrors of the 20th century were born.

Re:So what? (4, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841621)

Yes, I too blame this problem on the "entitlement attitude."

It's not like people running out of retirement money has anything to do with people living much longer than in the past, or the skyrocketing cost of health care.

Not pensions, but health coverage (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24841537)

Ask the oldies why they're working, they cannot afford the medical insurance on their own. My neighbor recently turned 80, his health insurance is $1200/month. Ask around, you'll find all the crusties doing crap jobs are doing it purely for medical coverage. Good job we're the richest country in the world, imagine how bad our system would be if weren't the most powerful nation on earth.

Re:Not pensions, but health coverage (1)

Comen (321331) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842045)

This is right, this is way my father got a job past retirement age.
He only had money to really pay for major medical, that was closee to 1000$ a month, and does not include prescriptions and doctor visits.
This stuff is a real issue, I do not understand how some people think this country does not need universal health care, I guess they think they will live healthy forever.

When I was a child (3, Insightful)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841557)

it seemed logical to me that if we as a race are living longer, we would want/need to work longer and the retirement age would increase in accordance. But this has already been discussed as a national issue here in the UK and now I'm older I've always been left scratching my head because it seemed so obvious/natural back then. I can't see how as a society if we live to 100, we could still retire at 60/65 and expect the state to give us cash for another 35 years as opposed to say 30 years ago people were living fewer years past the retirement age and so required less money.

Poster should of read the article. (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841573)

According to the article the lack of pensions is not a problem, it is people not saving or thoses that don't feel like retiring.
You had one example of people worring about thier pension and they did not want to go into thier 1.3 million dollar savings.
You had more examples of people who were worried about the lack of money they are receiving from Social Security; and right they should be at an annualized real rate of return of 1.2% the person would of been far better off putting that 14% of her salary in Treasury bills and made an easy 3%

Besides who has a pension any more? Unless you have an IT job in a company that is old and has alot of factory style workers you will not see a pension.

The luxury of retirement is coming to an end (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24841589)

The last 60 years have been an anomaly in that large swaths of the population have been even able to take retirement. A favorable social condition brought about by ever expanding resources and population that allowed for a large worker to retiree ratio. Unfortunately, the graying populations of Western economies and stagnant resource production is going to see the return of many conditions now thought extinct.

Get on your porch! (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841591)

Damn senior citizens taking away jobs from decent working age Americans!

Back in the day we just shipped them to the old folk's home and they liked it!

(j/k)

Wife not going to like this (3, Funny)

Stele (9443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841593)

As this is a timothy post, I only bothered reading the title. We're expecting our second child in January, and my wife is NOT going to like this news!

Laboring longer . . . as we should be (5, Interesting)

defile39 (592628) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841619)

As people stay healthier longer, people SHOULD continue to work. We shouldn't conceptualize the stages of human life in terms of years; Instead, we should conceptualize it in terms of percentages of expected life. Granted, the first 18 or so years are pretty much set in stone, but after that, we have a certain percentage of life available for each occupied stage. Looking only at labor, first there is education. Then, there is the career ramp-up. Then we have career maintenance -- perhaps a career switch (using skills from career #1 in career #2 . . . or not). Finally, we wind our careers down. A percentage of our healthy adult lives should be dedicated to each of these, with a percentage left for active retirement. There's nothing wrong with the actual number of years within each stage to increase in proportion to the amount of time we have to live well. This is the biggest benefit of progress in health and life expectancy.

Expectations need to be LOWERED (3, Insightful)

einer (459199) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841631)

pensions are not enough for sufficient living."

Not everyone can have a house. Not everyone can have a car. Not everyone can live close to all the cool stuff in a city. That definition of "sufficient" is clearly debatable.

Certainly sufficient for survival is not what was meant. Sufficient for a comfortable existence relative to history? I don't think that is what is meant either. I think sufficient in this case means "as good or better than everyone else."

This insufferable materialism is killing us by inches. There's not a lot of inertia behind avoiding it either. I've never seen so many people fall so willingly into slavery.

Or maybe things are more complicated (2, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841665)

Baby Boomers are retiring in large numbers, many of them in good health with longer life expectancies. Many Baby Boomers spent their lives physically active and with a real work ethic, starting their own businesses in many cases. Some invested well; others didn't. The recent changes in the economy mean some retirees' pensions and investments aren't going as far as they did, though presumably others' investments are doing well. So the fact that more people are working past retirement doesn't mean just one cause. Some are bored and want something to do, some need more income to last longer retirements, some need more money to make up for poor investments, etc.

Italians have spent pensions funds already (4, Informative)

what about (730877) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841673)

At retirement time, in Italy, 90% of people live on state pension. Let me tell you what happens.

State pension works by having current workers pay pension of retired people. In the golden years (70,80,90) we had people working and an apparent "extra" money into the pension "funds". Politicians thought to use the extra money to send the retiring workers early to pension.
Not only, but it was "normal" to go to pension with 90% of the last monthly income

The problem is that workforce is now declining, taxes are increasing and we currently pay pension to people that are just lucky to have retired early with a hefty pension (apparently nobody is willing to know how much a worker has PAID into the pension scheme and refund just that, plus interest).

I know I will have to work as long as I can, I am just upset that jurnalists and politicians brush this issue under the carpet leaving for when it will be too late

We do have private pension scheme but they are a money drain (basically another way to give luxury cars to some fund manager) they give no guarantee on the capital (as far as I know) and after the Parmalat scandal [wikipedia.org] there is even less trust on any private fund manager institution (Parmalat is not a fund manager, but if you "invested" on their bonds you have lost the money)

Re:Italians have spent pensions funds already (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24841919)

That's why it is irresponsible to have an unfunded system. If workers were paying for their own retirement instead of other people's, then the system would be able to handle population changes a lot better.

We started out with an unfunded system because we had a generation that already needed care. Fine. But instead of using the last 60 years to crawl our way back to a funded system -- say, by making one year of progress for each year we ran the program -- we just decided to run it that way forever. So saving one generation from poverty has saddled us with a system that we can't ever get out of, even though it is a lot worse financially than individual retirements savings.

Growing up in South Florida... (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841707)

I grew up in Fort Lauderdale. As you may know, South Florida is America's retirement home. Well it used to be.

It used to be where the rich came to retire. Now they're struggling the same as my parents. Who, after raising 3 kids and turning now 67, have to work. They still haven't even payed of their house. Their social security checks are decent, as is my dad's pension. They just can't afford to live on it.

Besides that, not everyone gets a pension.

saving? (2, Insightful)

solarlux (610904) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841797)

Perhaps a major driver is a lack of savings (indeed, "negative" household savings in many cases)...

Views on retirement are changing (1)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841805)

My parent's generation defined retirement as the time where you are able to stop working.

My generation seems to be defining retirement as transitioning from "having to work" to "wanting to work".

I have an uncle who could stop working, if he wanted to. He actually tried - he sold his business and took a year off, vacationed a bunch, spent some money..etc. He was so bored at the end of the year, that he bought another business and continued to work.

As long as you have time for a bit of vacation and leisure activities, why not continue to work if you are able?

-ted

Re:Views on retirement are changing (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842111)

Personally, I'm trying to be in a position I can retire if I want to by age 50. I've been investing since about 22 and have another ~20 years to go, and I think it's a reasonable goal. I will probably continue to work after that, but it will be on my terms, not ConHugeCo or Initech's.

inaccurate story implication (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841813)

the story seems to suggest we are all suffering because we don't get to retire at 65

i think that i would be bored out of my skull watching daytime tv, and would rather get a job

furthermore, working past traditional retirement is an indication not so much of an ailing economy as people living longer AND healthier lives

i myself don't think i'll ever retire. what is retirement? a chance to accelerate your cognitive decline? what is the point of retirement?

the mandatory retirement at 65 is not so much a disappearing luxury as it is a fossil of an earlier economic age, when most people worked manual labor. if i worked manual labor, indeed, retirement at 65 seems too late!

however, for those of us whose work is mostly cognitive in a modern economy, retirement is a nonissue

Re:inaccurate story implication (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842263)

If your only alternative to working is sitting on the couch, I think you're lacking creativitiy. I look forward to when I can finally catch up on my reading! Or when I can travel with no firm date of return. Or hang out with the grandkids. Or go back to school, pick up a hobby or three, restore a classic car, go fishing all day, volunteer for a cause, etc. Work if you want to, but unless you need the money, it's hardly the only thing to do with yourself.

pensions? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841829)

I have never been offered a pension. I have no sympathy for those who do have them.

It's the government, stupid (2, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841833)

"The reason for that is quite evident: pensions are not enough for sufficient living."

People are also working 40% or more of their lives to support the political class.

Retirement is an artificial concept (2, Interesting)

WoodstockJeff (568111) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841869)

It was born in the depression, as the government's way to push older workers out of the job market, to make room for younger (and more taxable) ones. Prior to Social Security, you worked until you died, pretty much.

For many, it's still that way - when you stop working, you start dying. I have no plans of letting that happen to me!

This is news how? (0, Flamebait)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841895)

Criminy with the fundie VP candidate's part Eskimo daughter showing up preggers and landfall of a cat 3 hurricane yesterday this is the best slashdot could come up with?

People have been working later ever since medicine has figured out a way to increase people's average lifespan.

Definition please (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841907)

The reason for that is quite evident: pensions are not enough for sufficient living."

Please define "sufficient living"

and pension as well. Of all the companies I've worked for over the last twenty years only one has a pension.

Retirement: priveledge not a right. (1)

dkarma (985926) | more than 5 years ago | (#24841915)

I laugh when people tell me about retirement. Some in America believe that it is their right to retire. If you have enough financial stability to retire in the US by the age 65 you're lucky. My great grandfather worked well into his 80's despite a thirty some year job w/ a local bus company. With Social Security payments falling woefully behind inflation, there is no support structure in place from the government for retirees. Basically save your chips because if you don't have $$ when you hit 60 you're working till you're dead.

Obligatory RTFA (and a good quote from TFA): (1)

Foolicious (895952) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842047)

RTFA please. Especially before writing the summary. Most of the anecdotes from TFA reflect instances where people got sick of being retired, not where they were in dire straits because of pensions that couldn't keep up.

In the instance of the retired travel agent that needed to continue working to make ends meet, please note her own quote:

"I feel blessed with the good health that I have. But I'm a little bit bitter because I don't think I should be scared financially at 68," she said, adding that she blames only herself for not saving more.

play the white elephant in the room is? (1)

maxconfus (522536) | more than 5 years ago | (#24842091)

health care, chained to desk till 65, after that consultant, set own rates. pensions are clearly not enough to cover health care. when 65 get medicare.

Inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24842189)

It has been said that inflation consumes debt.

This is only one side of the coin. Inflation also consumes savings by diminishing their future purchasing power. So it's probably more true that inflation uses savings to pay debt.

That being said, SOME Americans may be working longer because they want to, but most are finding it to be necessary.

The loss of purchasing power of the dollar can be directly linked as the cause of this trend.

The ONLY reasons that the average American family's quality of life hasn't drastically diminished are:
1.) Most families have 2 sources of income.
2.) Most families are funding their quality of life with debt.

The expansion of the fiat money base, and continued globalization will absolutely require that the American quality of life diminish.....unless of course we work harder, longer hours, or later in life. There will come a point where it is no longer possible to do either.

which cup is the pea hidden under? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24842197)

oil? phonIE stock markup FraUD payper? 'real' estate? you can bet your .asp it changes with each day, as the billionerrors attempt to outfox each other, & you. fear is unprecedented evile's primary weapon. that, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' greed/fear/ego based hired goons' agenda. Most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'war', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid scheme. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

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