As significant numbers of Americans are facing the financial realities of impending retirement, many questions and concerns have become frighteningly apparent. The American dream of the 1950s has disappeared in nightmarish fashion, replaced with high consumer debt and a decline in quality employment opportunities across all sectors of the American economy.
The years of cradle-to-grave employment and full corporate pension benefits have long disappeared, and the financial burden of retirement has landed squarely on working individuals, many of whom struggle to find a clear path to financial stability.
Noted social watchdog Noam Chomsky observes that, “Corporations are considered legal persons with more rights than people, and over eighty percent of the population now says, in polls, that the government is run by, and for, the uber-wealthy, revealing a tremendous alienation and cynicism that exist in today’s America.” The staggering statistics on the state of American retirement savings are not encouraging, and Mr. Chomsky’s analysis rings more accurate than ever before.
This paradigm shift from “optimism and hope” to “fear and cynicism” has hit seniors and baby boomers particularly hard.
In 1991, two percent of those filing for bankruptcy were sixty-five or older. By 2007, that number had jumped to seven percent, and, currently, eight to ten percent of all bankruptcies are filed by seniors who can’t make ends meet.
Baby boomers, whose ages range from fifty-five to seventy-five, are caught between caring for their parents and saving for their own retirement. Thirty-two percent of this “sandwich” generation expect to help care for an elderly parent or relative within the next twenty years, while also trying to catch up on saving for retirement. Thirty-two percent of this same demographic group have less than $25,000 saved.
For those who have saved, concern over the National Debt to GDP ratio, a lack of consumer confidence, and questions regarding Social Security sustainability has driven many to invest in safer, lower-yield stocks to minimize risk. But such investments aren’t designed to outpace taxes and inflation, so future purchasing risk is being a serious problem for many in retirement.
What can we do to protect ourselves from falling victim to this pessimistic outlook and address our mounting debt, while at the same time soundly stewarding assets for our financial future? With all these numbers seemingly stacked against us, is there any good news? Yes, there is! It’s never too late to get started, and Ambassador Advisors believes there are reliable solutions available to anyone who has the resolve to be a disciplined investor.
Predicting what the financial landscape will look like just five years from now is difficult for even the most educated consumer. What is the answer? Save now, save something, save anything; and look to a professional who can guide you through this complicated financial maelstrom. Don’t become a statistic. Investing in your future is something that only you can do.
Any opinions expressed in this forum are not the opinion or view of American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) or American Portfolios Advisors, Inc.(APA) and have not been reviewed by the firm for completeness or accuracy. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Any comments or postings are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial instruments. Readers should conduct their own review and exercise judgment prior to investing. Investments are not guaranteed, involve risk and may result in a loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investments are not suitable for all types of investors. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purposes of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each tax payer should seek tax, legal or accounting advice from a tax professional based on his/her individual circumstances.