Oh, retirement. Any of us who works probably has a dream of what our retirement looks like. Some work specifically with that retirement dream in mind; it drives them to work harder now and contribute more to their retirement accounts. It really does feel like a dent in the American dream, now that so many people’s dreams of their golden years are being put on hold, perhaps indefinitely.
More and more 20- 30- and 40- something children are seeing their parents’ dreams of walking off into the sunset of retirement dwindle. The Wall Street Journal tells in a sobering report about debt and older Americans that realities of credit card debt, mortgage and other loan debts have workers who are 60 and over stuck on the treadmill toward retirement preparation.
It is no surprise at this point that the U.S. economy has seen better days. Times are hard. Jobs are hard to find and might not pay as well as they used to. A big hit to older Americans hits them where many thought they had financial safety: in their homes.
Home values have gone down significantly throughout the country. For those who thought they could sell their homes for a comfortable retirement, that simply isn’t a given anymore. They very likely still owe on their homes and won’t get the money they always thought they would get from selling them.
This is just the beginning of this debt and retirement conversation. Check back in to the next post to find out more.
The Wall Street Journal: “Debt Hobbles Older Americans,” E.S. Browning, Sep. 7, 2011