Half of Older Americans Have Saved Nothing for Retirement

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The bad news is that almost half of Americans approaching retirement have nothing saved in a 401(k) or other individual account. The good news is that the new estimate, from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, is slightly better than a few years earlier.

Of those 55 and older, 48 percent had nothing put away in a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan or an individual retirement account, according to a GAO estimate for 2016 that was released Tuesday. That’s an improvement from the 52 percent without retirement money in 2013.

Half of Older Americans Have Saved Nothing for Retirement
(motortion/Dreamstime)

Two Unexpected Reasons to Phase Out Social Security

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

There are numerous valid arguments for phasing out the Social Security System.

These include the obvious, such as, since Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system, meaning that it depends on revenue from current workers to pay for current retirees, it is a Ponzi Scheme which eventually must fail.

I’d like to talk today about a couple of arguments that may surprise you: 1. Social Security, by it’s very design, is racially discriminatory, and 2. Social Security laws trying to foreclose “double-dipping” are keeping American children from getting the best possible education.

Racially discriminatory? A study from the Centers for Disease Control shows that there is a huge gap between life expectancies for black versus white Americans – age 75 for blacks versus 80 for whites (79 overall).

cdc life expectancy

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Here Comes The Next Trillion-Dollar Bailout

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

As boxers like to say, it’s the punch you don’t see that knocks you out.

In a world where a growing part of the financial system is hidden from view and excluded from official statistics, those are words to remember. A couple of examples from the 2008-2009 crisis:

  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were private companies through which the federal government funneled a lot of mortgage debt and to which it granted a kind of de facto backing, though it asserted confidently that this would never be needed. When the real estate bubble (inflated in large part by Fannie and Freddie) popped, government — read taxpayers — had to assume responsibility for pretty much the whole $10 trillion US housing sector.
  • Over-the-counter derivatives are largely hidden by bank and hedge fund accounting tricks, but when that market blew up in 2008 it turned out that AIG, the world’s biggest insurance company, had enough of the instruments to bring down the whole financial system. The result was another huge bailout with taxpayer cash.

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We Are All Athenians…

By Rick Ackerman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

We should watch closely to see how Greece handles its biggest problem — pensions — since the U.S. and Europe are certain to face the same problem eventually.  Try to monetize it, which is what I predict the Greek government will do, and you get hyperinflation. Try to pay for it by reducing benefits and increasing taxes, which is what Greece’s creditors are demanding, and you get: 1) instant, ruinous deflation; 2) a plunge into poverty for nearly everyone; and, 3) taxpayer riots that pit the private sector against government employees.

Whatever happens, it will be fascinating to see how Greeks vote next Sunday, when they will be asked to approve or reject creditors’ stringent demands. Leftist parties all over Europe are urging their Greek comrades to hang tough. But then, it’s not French, Irish and Italian socialists who will suffer instant economic deprivation and calamity if Greece tells Belgium to suck eggs.  Nor will they be the ones challenged to pay for life’s necessities with drachmas that are going to be spurned by the rest of the world and depreciating by the day, if not by the hour.

An op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal said Greece’s national identity and its “European dreams” are at stake, but that’s just twaddle. Under the best of circumstances, Greece will be panhandling till the end of time. It can never pay what it owes — not to Europe, not to itself, not to its retirees. The only question is whether Greek voters can grovel sufficiently next Sunday to get Germany to pretend, at least for the time being, that the economy of a deadbeat country can somehow be salvaged. As for the French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italians, they should practice kindness as events unfold, since they will all be belly-up themselves in the not-so-distant future.

White House looking to creep into 401(k)s

Last Monday, President Obama attacked Wall Street, again, for essentially helping in what the federal government and businesses can no longer provide — a decent retirement.

Under the false pretense of calling for new and tougher so-called fiduciary standards for financial brokers, advisers and retirement plan representatives, the White House once again horned in on Wall Street’s compensation formulas.

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