We sixes and sevens are growing at an astounding rate in America. Currently 13% of our citizens are 65 or older. In thirty-five years, this number will increase to 22%. Politicians already pay more attention to us, because we vote. But younger generations will be forced to treat us more fairly, if not better because of our size.
Our life expectancy has ballooned. In the 1940’s the average American lived to 47. Now it’s 76. This is very good news. The tough part is navigating your later life years while having enough resources to enjoy a reasonable quality of living. Let’s be honest, our Government is not exactly flush. Soaring debt in the U.S.A. has been met with support from the Federal Reserve to keep our economy going. The Fed would like to get out of its quantitative easing policy, but it is in a bind. First, it has a new and very dovish Chairman due to take over next month. Her name is Janet Yellen. Ms. Yellen does not want to do anything to hurt the economy in 2014 when the mid-term elections are due to take place.
Fittingly, she cannot and will not risk causing a major hiccup to the stock market. on the other hand the data is neither improving nor collapsing, so the question is what purpose is now being served by this extraordinary policy. The answer is they simply are afraid to find out what a “tapering down” of fueling the economy might do.
Secondly, there are many programs firmly in the pocket of funds earmarked for our checking accounts. Vast sums of money are being paid out to sustain ballooning costs of welfare, disability, unemployment and illegal immigration. Toss in a new debate about doubling the minimum wage, and you could see further pressure on our already stressed economy.
The key, is to have a financial plan in place, or at least a household strategy to hold onto what you have earned over your lifetime, and try to grow it conservatively (if possible) at the same time.
My father turns 91 near Christmas day. He is part of what Tom Browkaw famously penned the “greatest generation”. A World War ll veteran, Charles is all set with a modest retirement account, monthly social security checks and reasonable outlook on his future. He earned those benefits, and can live comfortably on them. Many of us are not as lucky. Different times require a sharper pen to be sure we can enjoy the golden years as well. After all, we are growing!