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Americans' Retirement Savings Today

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Ideally the house is paid for, and the monthly bills won't deplete the lifetime savings when America's seniors retire.

Ideally the house is paid for, and the monthly bills won't deplete the lifetime savings when America's seniors retire.

Today's retirement savings...

In October 2017 the median retirement savings of Americans looked like this according to the Economic Policy Institute for those in the 56-61 age group... those approaching their retirement years for whom their median retirement savings were just $17,000.

At that time, Americans were recovering from the 2008 recession. Now, when so many Americans have been affected by COVID-19's pandemic, would you guess that those getting ready to retire in today's 56-61 age group have squirreled away greater savings?

Or have they had to dip into what retirement savings they had in early 2020?

Will Stimulus #1, #2, and the promised #3 have done anything to help that group be better prepared?

ANSWER: As of February 5, 2021 most had no retirement savings, "and those that did have some, had less than $21,000."

Meanwhile, the 2021 Dollar is only worth 93% of the 2017 Dollar's purchasing power.

Those Americans who could save stimulus dollars probably saved some, even though those dollars were also intended to stimulate the economy.

The median retirement savings today, taking into account the majority who "had no retirement savings" at all, continues to look very dismal.

Home and hearth?

The heat doesn't stay on if the bills aren't paid and there is too little gold for those so-called "Golden Years"!

The heat doesn't stay on if the bills aren't paid and there is too little gold for those so-called "Golden Years"!

Compounging the problem...

Compounding the problem of saving for retirement is definitely made no less stressful when the compounding interest on savings accounts is not enough to even keep pace with inflation!

With prices for essential goods and services growing faster than interest on savings can add to those savings, there is little incentive to do more than hide the money under the mattress, or spend it.

Not long ago the American people, by virtue of their government "of the people, by the people, and for the people", bailed out America's banks. Even now those same banks can borrow funds at almost zero percent interest, which they then loan out at multiples of what those same banks pay retirees for interest on their retirement savings.

Even investing retirement savings becomes riskier when those funds have to last for a retiree's life expectancy.

Prices going up, and savings going down, has made today's retirement "a race between bankruptcy and death." With Americans not able to save for retirement, or unwilling to do so, the future is one of foreboding for a majority of America's growing numbers of its senior citizens.

In the past "the nuclear family" was what today's seniors could have depended on, but today many seniors are instead providing shelter and sustenance for their children and grandchildren as unemployment, student debt, and posible evictions, have seen the future generations returning to their aging parents for support.

Political stalemate in Washington, D. C. has failed to resolve today's pressing problems the growing numbers of seniors now face with "too little, too late."

© 2021 Demas W Jasper

Comments

Ann Carr from SW England on February 22, 2021:

Similar situation here, as savings interest is low or non-existent. Also as in the US, the youngsters are returning home or staying longer than they used to. The 'bank of Mum and Dad' is a common phrase today.

We do have the bonus of a National Health System but that's getting less generous, though we do have a good health service.

It's hard to see how things will go but times will be difficult for many I fear. This time it's a global thing so I guess it depends on how good each country's system or government is.

I hope you're keeping safe and well.

Ann