Retire? In our moment of insolvency?

So … apparently some 60% of Americans have less than $25,000 in savings and investments according to a Bloomberg article. Approximately 14% are confident that they will be capable of retiring when the time comes at age 65. For most, the plan is to continue working beyond 65 in order to be able to retire at all.

Ok, first of all, some of this is not the fault of those individuals. When one is living literally cheque to cheque and bills gobble up all available cash on a constant basis, it is hardly their fault that they have very little savings. Of course, that greatly depends on the nature of the bills. Need money for food = fine. Need money for another $300 trip to the salon like you have 2 weeks ago = not so much. As sure as there are individuals that struggle to make ends meet, there are just as many (if not more) that choose to live like that. That choose to take on as much debt as they are possibly capable of and live all their “tomorrow” days in the here and now.

But there is another problem here, a little more obscure. Those that choose to live like this more so than the others that do not have a choice are necessarily ruining the job market for the young trying to come up themselves. Easy enough to just casually say “you’ll just work  little longer”. Each day an individual does not vacate their job when they’ve reached the age of retirement is another day that a new individual will not hold that job. I understand that the economics are bad now, but for a good portion, this is a fault of trying to live beyond ones means as opposed to living within them. People see “the good life” and want it, but they cannot afford it. But they can rent it out for a short period at the expense of their future comfort and that of the next generation.

Don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that older workers are not valuable. They will toot their own horns on that – telling us all about their “experience” with a position or in working in general. I need not point out the insipidity of pointing out you have experience while denying anyone else the ability to gather that same experience. But beyond even this, we need to realize that experience is not everything. Younger bodies, faster minds, new ideas count as well. Those that dig deep and remain in a position can doom it to stagnation while they are there. Yes, they are experienced . Yes, they have been good workers. But isn’t there a time when they need to be laid aside, thanked for their work, and left behind by the business? As I stated, this helps them but hurts the new comers that need jobs to get on their feet. Might just be me, but it seems wrong to force a young person to wait until they are 30 or 35 to get a job most boomers had when they were 20.

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