18
Aug 08

The ‘Generation that Changed Everything’ needs to change retirement expectations

You’ve probably seen an ad  like this:  A group of gray haired boomers laugh and joke as they grab their surf boards, in the background a 60’s counter culture song plays. The voice over talks about how it was a generation that ‘changed everything.’

I love my parents, but I can’t help but feel a bit let down by their generation. As they prepare to retire we have a crises in social security and Medicare, and this is a crises that they caused. They are the highest earners, they have been in power for the past 16 years (since Clinton) and not only have they not addressed the issue, but they made it appreciably worse.
Us_savings_rate_2

    This is the US Savings rate, as the boomer’s become the heads of household’s the savings rate drops. It recently hit 0%.

I’m sure this isn’t all their fault, but given that we are expected to carry the social security burden it would be really nice if they took a real stab at fixing the problem before they retired, because if they don’t then the leave the problem up to a later generation. And it seems pretty unfair to leave the issue to a new group who either has to break the promises implicit in the system, or shoulder the burden for a series of decisions they had no part in making. Mom, Dad: I love you both, but talk to your surfing buddies will ya?