Wealth gap between old and young

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it looks like most middle-class workers, not just low-income workers but most middle-class workers, will be living at or near the poverty level in their old age

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The result of an entire generation failing to save. </p>

<p>From that article:</p>

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She has traveled the world and once considered herself solidly upper middle class. But she has no pension or retirement savings plan.

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Maybe instead of traveling the world, she should have been saving some money.</p>

<p>it's going to take a lot of savings...to save enough for retirement....</p>

<p>but as a society...we did not save enough....</p>

<p>Yep. Didn't save enough.</p>

<p>Have a couple of generations of workers coming up behind you with less earning potential, too.</p>

<p>Squandered is a good word, I think.</p>

<p>Save enough?! Where -- in banks that pay 1/10th of 1 perecent?!...please...that doesn't even come close to the inflation rate, let alone grow.</p>

<p>I always wondered how it is that banks will take our money for 'safekeeping', invest it and make something -- certainly more than the insulting 'interest' they pay us -- all of 0.001 percent -- then turn around and charge us 6, 7, 8 percent to borrow from them. Why don't we have some leveling here?</p>

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Save enough?! Where -- in banks that pay 1/10th of 1 perecent?!...please...that doesn't even come close to the inflation rate, let alone grow.

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Interest rates have not always been this low. They will not always be this low. And there are many places to invest besides a savings account at a bank. Investing in a mutual fund still counts as saving.</p>

<p>And even if all you did was put in under your mattress, if you saved 5% of your income per year for your working career you would probably have several hundred thousand dollars. That's a lot more than nothing.</p>

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they pay us -- all of 0.001 percent -- then turn around and charge us 6, 7, 8 percent to borrow from them.

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My credit union is offering 3% mortgages and 2% car loans.</p>

<p>"Maybe instead of traveling the world, she should have been saving some money. "</p>

<p>Disagree.You do things when you can and are able. As you age many things become to hard to bother with including extensive travel.</p>

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You do things when you can and are able. As you age many things become to hard to bother with including extensive travel.

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Then don't complain about the prospect of having to work until you die, or live in poverty in your old age.</p>

<p>Agree with Barron's approach..enjoy life while you can,but keep an eye on tomorrow...Living your life as if retirement is the sole focus is foolish..</p>

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enjoy life while you can,but keep an eye on tomorrow

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If you have "traveled the world" but have zero in retirement savings, would you say that is keeping an eye on tomorrow?</p>

<p>notrich,</p>

<p>"My credit union is offering 3% mortgages and 2% car loans."</p>

<p>They are still getting substantially more than they pay us for using our money.</p>

<p>"And even if all you did was put in under your mattress, if you saved 5% of your income per year for your working career you would probably have several hundred thousand dollars. That's a lot more than nothing."</p>

<p>Yes, and what would it be worth in thirty years after inflation?</p>

<p>"You do things when you can and are able. As you age many things become to hard to bother with including extensive travel. "</p>

<p>This is exactly correct. We spent a month in China this summer and we certainly did things differently than if we were younger. You have to save money but you must also live your life because you don't know if you'll be around tomorrow.</p>

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Yes, and what would it be worth in thirty years after inflation?

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More than zero. Which is what those people in the article have.

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You have to save money but you must also live your life because you don't know if you'll be around tomorrow.

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No one is saying don't have balance. But if you have saved <em>nothing</em>, you don't have balance, you have a disaster.</p>

<p>And if you are busy "living your life" and then expect me to bail you out at the end, well...</p>

<p>And if you are busy "living your life" and then expect me to bail you out at the end, well..."</p>

<p>Yeah...hmm...like we did for Wall Street.</p>

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Net worth for those over 65 does not include the value of social security, medicare, and pensions.

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</p>

<p>That's what I find especially scary. Median net household worth in inflation-adjusted dollars for the 65 and over crowd is up 42% since 1984. During that period, we've seen a big switch from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution retirement plans. I'd fully expect that there should be a big jump in net worth for older people because of IRAs and 401k accounts. If we added in the value of pensions, that would be a better way to compare household wealth as those households head into retirement. I'm guessing that it would be a really frightening number, and that we could well see a drop in the median net worth for the 65+ crowd.</p>