The Real Retirement Crisis: The Elderly Are Broke

Authored by Virginia Fidler via,

A study released by GoBankingRates reveals that older people planning their retirement have cause for concern. Forty-two percent of Americans are facing their golden years with less than $10,000 in savings. A lack of savings and planning has reduced what should be an enjoyable time in seniors’ lives to a period of stress and worries for many.

Out-of-pocket expenses for health care is spiraling. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that Americans 65 years of age and older may spend up to $46,000 annually on healthcare. This is not good news for those with only $10,000 on which to fall back on.

For adults over 50, this should be a call to act now, while there is still time. Only one-third of adults in that age group have savings greater than $10,000. Retirement planning needs to become a priority, as there is little time to waste. Pensions are becoming rarer, and Social Security is becoming less secure than it used to be. Many health needs of seniors are not covered by Medicare. Some experts believe the Social Security system will be depleted by 2030. Adults over the age of 50 need to consider making contributions into 401(k) accounts or similar retirement plans.

Social Security was never intended to be the sole income of retiring seniors. It was meant to supplement approximately only 40% of post-retirement spending. Social security was supposed to enhance seniors’ lives, not support it entirely. However, according to, 43 percent of unmarried seniors rely on Social Security to cover 90 percent of their basic needs. Almost a quarter of married couples depend on Social Security to meet most of their expenses.

Some seniors struggling with poverty are able to receive supplemental income (“SPM”), such as food stamps for a bit of additional help. The need is especially high for seniors who are women, African Americans, and Hispanics, and those with ongoing health issues.

6,400,000 million American seniors are living at poverty level, struggling to meet fundamental needs such as rent and food. This number is likely to increase as more boomers become eligible for Social Security and the system becomes less able to support them.

What does this mean for the Millennial generation? The current Social Security system will be unsustainable at some point. It cannot continue at the current level. It probably won’t be abolished, as that would cause chaos for seniors. However, Millennials are aware that changes are coming. They know that benefits will likely be reduced by the time they grow older.

The good news is, Millennials are aware of the problem. Members of the boomer generation who assumed Social Security would take care of their needs are learning a hard lesson.



HurricaneBrasky Stuck on Zero Tue, 03/13/2018 - 22:43 Permalink

Why is health care so expensive for the elderly? Because we're chemically (medicine) and physically (surgery) keeping people alive beyond their natural capabilities. Further, with the lifestyle choices people make between obesity and smoking, they're lowering their natural longevity baseline to a point where they're even harder to treat medically. Why didn't medicine used to be so expensive? Because we didn't know how to do that much stuff and old people died. 

Medicare\ Social Security are the government subsidizing the prolonged existence of those who no longer really contribute (assuming they did in the first place) for minimal benefit to society. Theyre flawed at their foundation. Life expectancy has gone up, so should the expected years of work. Retire at 65? Fuck you. The Boomers has decades to fix this shit.The Boomers don't deserve to be rewarded for mismanaging an empire into ruin. It's our turn to fix things, and our solutions don't prioritize your benefit.

In reply to by Stuck on Zero

mkkby iamrefreshed Tue, 03/13/2018 - 17:48 Permalink

Cut off welfare, free school and free health care to shit bag illegals and there will be plenty left for our seniors. 

End welfare for anyone with a healthy body.  Plenty of places to wash dishes or fill pot holes.  You can sit on your porch or play video games, but don't expect working americans to pay for your food habit.

In reply to by iamrefreshed

Zoobs mkkby Wed, 03/14/2018 - 14:03 Permalink

Clean streets and parks. Provide daycare. Work in nursing homes. Staff libraries, toll booths, security entrances.  There are plenty of jobs we pay way too much for in public service. Everyone should work for their keep and pay taxes. No free rides except to the truly needy (infirm, not entitled).

In reply to by mkkby

Dickweed Wang BullyBearish Tue, 03/13/2018 - 15:10 Permalink

6,400,000 million American seniors are living at poverty level, struggling to meet fundamental needs such as rent and food. 



And at the same time TPTB have no problem whatsoever giving out over 20 trillion dollars to their banker buddies during the 2008/2009 financial "crisis" or just looking the other way when over 20 trillion dollars go totally unaccounted for at the Department of Defense and at HUD.  But when it comes to making sure old people don't have to eat fucking dog food that's a really big problem for some reason. If "they" wanted to they could make the "pension problem" and the elderly poverty problem disappear overnight but it is much more useful to them when they can pit older people versus younger people on the issue of pensions and social security.  I call that total fucking bullshit . . . 

In reply to by BullyBearish

octomancer MrSteve Tue, 03/13/2018 - 15:51 Permalink

But the trouble is that that 19 tril USD would have been used by consumers to pay down debt, and that would have meant vastly reduced interest payments and that in turn would have meant the banks being in even more trouble. No, they can't have ordinary people being able to afford the basics because then they wouldn't have to borrow.

In reply to by MrSteve

BetweenThe Coasts Dickweed Wang Tue, 03/13/2018 - 15:52 Permalink

CA Fits estimates it is even more, up to $50 trillion gone missing over the last two decades!

How about we all demand a real Federal gov. accounting? Demand they get $50 trillion back? Demand they make the money to fix Social Security, Medicare and Pensions just appear too, like they did for too-big-to-fail banksters in 2008? As Fitts says, this is not a crisis, it was and is a plan. Stealing $50 trillion, "borrowing" Social Security contributions to pay regular gov. expenses leaving only I.O.U.s, suppressing interest rates for a decade and wreaking the retireds savings interest income and pension returns, giving $24 trillion to banksters ... yes it is a plan they have been executing all along. It is not a crisis, it is not that a majority of seniors didn't save enough, they have been screwed on purpose and we are not supposed to notice $50 trillion is missing. 

'The State of Our Pension Funds' by Catherine Austin Fitts


'Government Missing Over 21 Trillion, Massive Pension Scam, Catherine Austin Fitts (1 of 2)'

In reply to by Dickweed Wang

Dickweed Wang BetweenThe Coasts Tue, 03/13/2018 - 16:12 Permalink

Everything you said is spot on BtC.  The problem is we continue to see articles like this one on ZH that pump the narrative that there's a "pension crisis" or that Social Security is "insolvent".  I agree with you 100% that the citizens of the USA need to demand that the trillions of dollars that were stolen from us be returned.  If they don't want to comply there's always the 2nd amendment . . . 

In reply to by BetweenThe Coasts

Zoobs BetweenThe Coasts Wed, 03/14/2018 - 14:07 Permalink

The $800 Billion in TARP mostly went to Government agencies who pissed it away then added those amounts to their baseline budgets for future requests. Most got 35% increases YoY.  We need to demand zero-based budgeting where every line item has to be justified every year, with cost-benefit analysis and ending duplicate programs (training, IT, consulting, housing, food).

In reply to by BetweenThe Coasts

Endgame Napoleon Dickweed Wang Tue, 03/13/2018 - 17:04 Permalink

The Census Bureau’s “Supplemental Poverty Measure” — the only poverty measure that counts all the pay-per-birth welfare given to single moms and immigrants  — lists the elderly as the poorest group, not the “poor, poor” part-time working moms, calculatingly staying below the earned-income limits for a multitude of ever-expanding monthly welfare programs that cover their housing and food, with monthly cash assistance and refundable (EiTC) child-tax-credit welfare up to $6,444 added on to cover the cost of their $900 tattoos and beach trips with boyfriends.…

When I worked at the Department of Human Services, the elderly qualified for $10 per month in food assistance — all of them — whereas the average single-momma citizen or non-citizen momma, with US-born children and a male breadwinner staying below the earned-income limit in traceable income, walked out of there with $450 per month just in EBT. Same thing with housing, where the poorest elderly get $100 — $200 off per month on rent, meaning they pay close to the full rent price, while the most womb-productive, irresponsible single mommas pay $35-per-month in rent, with rent totally free for some of them. 

SO, work your a** off, middle aged and younger, welfare-ineligible citizens with a tax cut that will cover a Costco membership. Many do, many don’t. In most cases, it is the frequently absentee, part-time working, womb-productive mommas who get the extra dough to invest for retirement, not the non-womb-productive individuals who stay at work the whole day, every day, meeting the quotas every month. The ones in that industrious group who must live on earned-only income get the least cheese to secure their retirement.

While contributing to their retirement funds, you do not see the highly paid dual-earner parents, inevitably given the management positions due to “needing the money for kids” skipping many of their two-week babyvacations, taken every other month, nor do they skip any status symbols, like posh homes and a gazillion home renovations, to save for old age. They do not have to sacrifice one red thing to invest.

Those are the highly paid, dual-earner parents—the ones who will fire a childless, single person, with higher sales-generation and account-retention numbers than almost all of their 98% mom-gang employees without batting an eyelash, while excusing an ennormous amount of absenteeism from the low-selling mom-gang workers.

They’ll tell you a million tear-jerking stories about how the mom-gang employees have babies to feed, even though the moms are NOT the ones living on earned-only income and NOT, in most cases, the ones pumping up the manager’s bonus by working far more hours amd generating / retaining far more accounts.

In a sea of corrupt crony-mom-gang absenteeism, they’ll fire non cromies over 5 minutes of absenteeism, right after they get back from their 12th 2-week vacation (for baby) of the year, retaining the fellow, colluding, frequently absentee moms who comprise most of their low-wage underlings.

All of those mommas — the married and highly paid ones with spousal income or child support covering their housing and single ones with layers of monthly pay-per-birth welfare covering their rent / groceries and child tax credits — could save for retirement, just using their up-to $6,444 (and recently doubled) pay-for-sex-and-reproduction refundable child tax credits.…

Instead, many of the low-income, part-time working moms spend their yearly tax-welfare pay for sex and reproduction from the US Treasury Department on things like master bedroom furniture, calling the child-tax-credit welfare their “taxes,” and bragging about the frivolous, mom-pampering expenditures to childless colleague whose paychecks are smaller than theirs, thanks to this child tax credit.

Thr paychecks of the childless, single women and the single moms with grown kids are lower, even though they often have one income to cover all household bills, including rent that absorbs more than half of their monthly pay and even though, in many cases, the childless workers are the ones busting their cans to keep the numbers up, while the pay-per-birth mommas bound out the workplace door every afternoon and for weeks of excused baby travel soccer, going far beyond their allotted PTO and pregnancy leave, leaving behind phones ringing off the hook with paying customers.

Moms rarely — very rarely — get fired for any of this outrageous, bold absenteeism.

Because, they are FAKE FEMINISTS.

Social Security does not have to go broke if the cap is raised.

Highly paid employees, like all employees, including the low-wage mommas with their free EBT food and free rent, pay SS tax at 7.65% up to the 127,200 cap, while the self-employed — whether they are affluent or low-wage gig workers, making $20 per gig, pay into SS at 15.3% on every dime they earn up to the $127,200 cap.

The SS system is super-unfair to the low-income self-employed who, in addition to paying twice-as-high SS tax and almost never qualifying for pay-per-birth freebies, have no benefits, unlike these dual-high-earner parents, taking two of the few good jobs with benefits, undergirded by a budget-busting $260 billion employer tax exclusion, and concentrating the income and benefits from decent, salaried jobs in fewer households.

Those dual-high-earner parents get non-refundable child tax credits for sex and reproduction to fund more kitchen renovations, but they pay the lower SS tax rate. 

The low-income welfare moms are almost never self-employed, and thus almost never pay the higher SS tax rate, due to all the discriminatory, back-watching cronyism among childbearing-aged moms in the many office jobs “voted best for moms.”

All of the goverment’s favoritism in the tax code and the overall welfare system accrues to the same groups of citizen and non-citizen parents, and SS is the only program that everyone gets. Almost one third — 28% — of this country’s citizens are over 40 and childless. Everyone does not get the non-contributory, 100%-free pay from goverment for sex and reproduction.

Unless the SS system goes down due to a lack of contributors because of automation-based underemployment, there is a lot of room to adjust SS before the collapse, even though the rich offshored 2 million jobs to Asia, along with 2 million potential SS contributions, right before the mass-scale Baby Boom retirement.

Because, in the era of fake feminism, quite a few frequently babyvacationing dual-high-earner parents, concentrating two high-paying jobs in one household and reducing the size of the college-educated middle and even the upper-middle class by half, are getting paid more than ever before in history for salaried work without taking on the risk to create businesses and jobs for fellow Americans, but they are taxed only up to $127,200 in income for SS. 

New business creation is down. Tax revenue is down because of historic numbers of US citizens out of the workfore or working part time. But the salaries of dual-high-earner parents are just going up, up, up, as they enjoy a two-week babyvacation every two months since “the talent” is indispensable at work. The truth is they, like the frequently absentee and part-time working welfare moms, get away with all that absenteeism not just due to womb-productivity-based cronyism, but bevause computers do more of their work.

Hubby is paid $250k in a corporate job to take a vacation (for baby) every two months, with wifey coordinating her every-two-month two-week vacations with hubby’s in her $100k goverment job.

He deserves the pay, as he facilitates the offshoring of more jobs to Mexico when he gets back to work, and all goverment employees deserve high pay, guaranteed and incremental pay raises and almost zero risk of firing in the case of the working-parent cronies.

But they could pay SS tax on more of their salaried income. Just one of them will still be making 10 times more than the childless, single worker doing 10 times more work during their frequent babyvacations—the one whose rent soaks up more than half of her earned-only income, leaving her unable to save one penny for retirement, regardless of how hard she works.  

No single, childless, non-welfare-eligible worker, with a $20k — $25k high-turnover job, can save money for retirement when rent costs $859 per month for a crappy, one-room apartment in a low-cost rent state. When rent swallows more than half of your earned-only income, you cannot even save to cover rent between low-wage churn jobs. Absentee bully-moms-in-charge viscously game the UC system, making sure that most never get a dime of it, even though it is another government program that we all are forced to pay into, with only some unemployed citizens ever getting it.

Half of employed Americans are working part time, making less than $30k, with the average yearly income being $13k. Multiple states across the country have per capita income at between $16 and $20k

$10,000 in retirement savings —- HAHAHAHA.


In reply to by Dickweed Wang

Indo_Expat Dickweed Wang Tue, 03/13/2018 - 17:56 Permalink

Seniors have been eating dog food to survive for years already.

U.S. Seniors Eating Dog Food to Stay Alive : The 5th Estate Dog/Cat Food Taste Comparison:…

U.S. Seniors Eating Dog Food to Stay Alive : The 5th Estate Dog/Cat Food Taste Comparison Part 2:…

In reply to by Dickweed Wang

Indo_Expat ZENDOG Tue, 03/13/2018 - 18:18 Permalink

Not if you cash out. Take the 33% hit.

I cashed out in 2001 when the handwriting was on the wall. The double employer contributions covered above and beyond the 33% hit I took and lo and behold, my colleagues that said I was crazy then wound up with ZERO in 2008 while I stacked bars.

Know when to walk away, the dice are loaded.

In reply to by ZENDOG

spiral galaxy Janet smeller Tue, 03/13/2018 - 15:26 Permalink

Bingo!  Add in the fucking Fed, state, local, excise, etc. taxes, tolls, fees, fines, blah. and ......$$ gone!  Fucking politicians know no bounds when it comes to grabbing your money.  Then along comes the Obamacare bullshit, which really empties your wallet!!! .........and you forgot, they also keep pushing out the age for collecting Social Security, which is indexed so that you basically can't work without giving up some of the Social Security $$ ........e.g., $1 taken back for every $2 made over ~$16K between 62 & 65.  At 66 it goes to something like $40, and you get to keep all your SS $ at around 70!! BFD! You're almost dead then!  So in short, the fucking politicians made you pay more when you worked, paid out less when you retire, then squeezed the age limits so they get to keep the $$ of those who died.

In reply to by Janet smeller

BetweenThe Coasts Donald J. Trump Tue, 03/13/2018 - 18:41 Permalink

You might also tell your 16 year old about empire/industrial scale theft going on, $50 trillion missing from the Federal gov in twenty years. See Dr. Skidmore missing $21 trillion from HUD and DOD. See 

$16.11 trillion of financial assistance -July 2011 GAO Report to Congressional Addresses FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM, table 8, page 131

“Most people think that the big bank bailout was the $700 billion that the treasury department used to save the banks during the financial crash in September of 2008. But this is a long way from the truth because the bailout is still ongoing. The Special Inspector General for TARP summary of the bailout says that the total commitment of government is $16.8 trillion dollars with the $4.6 trillion already paid out. Yes, it was trillions not billions and the banks are now larger and still too big to fail.”

In reply to by Donald J. Trump