“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Their lives as they knew them are over...

Baby boomers near 65 with retirements in jeopardy
CHICAGO (AP) — Through a combination of procrastination and bad timing, many baby boomers are facing a personal finance disaster just as they're hoping to retire. Starting in January, more than 10,000 baby boomers a day will turn 65, a pattern that will continue for the next 19 years.
The boomers, who in their youth revolutionized everything from music to race relations, are set to redefine retirement. But a generation that made its mark in the tumultuous 1960s now faces a crisis as it hits its own mid-60s.
"The situation is extremely serious because baby boomers have not saved very effectively for retirement and are still retiring too early," says Olivia Mitchell, director of the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research at the University of Pennsylvania.
There are several reasons to be concerned:
— The traditional pension plan is disappearing. In 1980, some 39 percent of private-sector workers had a pension that guaranteed a steady payout during retirement. Today that number stands closer to 15 percent, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, D.C.
— Reliance on stocks in retirement plans is greater than ever; 42 percent of those workers now have 401(k)s. But the past decade has been a lost one for stocks, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index posting total returns of just 4 percent since the beginning of 2000.
— Many retirees banked on their homes as their retirement fund. But the crash in housing prices has slashed almost a third of a typical home's value. Now 22 percent of homeowners, or nearly 11 million people, owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth. Many are boomers.
Michael Vanatta, 61, of Vero Beach, Fla., is paying the price for being a boomer who enjoyed life without saving for the future. He put a daughter through college, but he also spent plenty of money on indulgences like dining out and the latest electronic gadgets.
Vanatta was laid off last January from his $100,000-a-year job as a sales executive for a turf company. And with savings of just $5,000, he's on a budget for the first time. In April, he will start taking Social Security at age 62.
"If I'd been smarter and planned and had the bucks, I'd wait until 70," says Vanatta, who is divorced and rents an apartment. "It's my fault. For years I was making plenty of money and spending plenty of money."
Vanatta is in the majority. Some 51 percent of early boomer households, headed by those ages 55 to 64, face a retirement with lower living standards, according to a 2009 study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
Too many boomers have ignored or underestimated the worsening outlook for their finances, says Jean Setzfand, director of financial security for AARP, the group that represents Americans over age 50. By far the greatest shortcoming has been a failure to save. The personal savings rate — the amount of disposable income unspent — averaged close to 10 percent in the 1970s and '80s. By late 2007, the rate had sunk to negative 1 percent.
The recession has helped improve the savings rate — it's now back above 5 percent. Yet typical boomers are still woefully short on retirement savings. Even those in their 50s and 60s with a 401(k) for at least six years had an average balance of less than $150,000 at the end of 2009, according to the EBRI.
Signs of coming trouble are visible on several other fronts, too:
— Mortgage Debt. Nearly two in three people age 55 to 64 had a mortgage in 2007, with a median debt of $85,000.
— Social Security. Nearly 3 out of 4 people file to claim Social Security benefits as soon as they're eligible at age 62. That locks them in at a much lower amount than they would get if they waited.
The monthly checks are about 25 percent less if you retire at 62 instead of full retirement age, which is 66 for those born from 1943 to 1954. If you wait until 70, your check can be 75 to 80 percent more than at 62. So, a boomer who claimed a $1,200 monthly benefit in 2008 at age 62 could have received about $2,000 by holding off until 70.
— Medical Costs. Health care expenses are soaring, and the availability of retiree benefits is declining.
"People cannot fathom how much money will be needed to simply cover out-of-pocket medical care costs," says Mitchell of the University of Pennsylvania.
A 55-year-old man with typical drug expenses needs to have about $187,000 just to cover future medical costs. That's if he wants to be 90 percent certain to have enough money to supplement Medicare coverage in retirement, the EBRI said. Because of greater longevity, a 65-year-old woman would need even more to cover her health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket health expenses: an estimated $213,000.
— Employment. Boomers both need and want to work longer than previous generations. But unemployment is near 10 percent, and many have lost their jobs.
The average unemployment period for those 55 and older was 45 weeks in November. That's 12 weeks longer than for younger job-seekers. It's also more than double the 20-week period this group faced at the beginning of the recession in December 2007.
If financial neglect turns out to be many boomers' undoing, challenging circumstances are stymieing others.
Linda Reaves of Silver Spring, Md., never had much opportunity to save as a single mother raising two sons and a daughter. After holding a variety of positions over the years — hotel office manager, research analyst for a mortgage company, hospital mental health counselor — she was still living paycheck to paycheck. Then she was laid off in 2007 at the age of 57.
She entered a training program to learn new skills, but all she has found since is a string of temporary jobs. In her daily quest for clerical or administrative work, she competes against much younger applicants.
Reaves, who turns 60 this month, plans to work until she's at least 70 and then wants to travel, even if she doesn't know where the money will come from.
"I just keep going. I don't really worry about it," she says.
Add this all up, and there's a "slow-burning" retirement crisis for boomers, says Anthony Webb, a research economist at the Center for Retirement Research.
"If you have a crisis where the adverse consequences are immediately clear, then people understand that they have to do something," Webb says. "When the consequences will be felt 20 or 30 years in the future, the temptation is that we kick the can down the road."
As a result, he believes many won't change their behavior.
For less affluent boomers, it won't take that long to feel the pain of poor planning. Concerns about financial trouble will hang over many of those 65th birthday celebrations in 2011.
Many seem to view their plight through rose-colored granny glasses. An AARP survey last month of boomers turning 65 next year found that they worry no more about money than they did at age 60 — before the recession or the collapse of home prices. But in an acknowledgement of reality, 40 percent said they plan to work "until I drop."


  1. Starting in January, more than 10,000 baby boomers a day will turn 65, a pattern that will continue for the next 19 years.

  2. Somehow I never felt part of the baby boomer generation. I always felt as a third generation farmer. I've never had much of an identity outside that of my extended family and immediate group. Grandfather is just right over there, in my mind.

  3. this is why I wont sell my business for worthless dollars..

    it's worth more as a cash making machine to me...

    I figure i need to make it work AFTER my 1st stroke...

    I can see me now, shopping cart/walker collecting assorted sundries up and down my warehouse isles...

  4. Baby boomers are now victims. Perhaps nobama will send them a check.

  5. When my daughter was little and wanted something I would tell her I didn't have the money. She would say, "Yes you do just write a check."

  6. Exactly my daughter's attitude to this very day.

  7. While some are all wound up about planned crimes in Europe, they tend to ignore the real crime that envlopes our own nation.

    By Joseph Farah
    © 2010 WorldNetDaily.com

    WASHINGTON – While the military “quagmire” in Iraq was said to tip the scales of power in the U.S. midterm elections, most Americans have no idea more of their fellow citizens – men, women and children – were murdered this year by illegal aliens than the combined death toll of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan since those military campaigns began.

    Though no federal statistics are kept on murders or any other crimes committed by illegal aliens, a number of groups have produced estimates based on data collected from prisons, news reports and independent research.

    Twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens, according to statistics released by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.

    Some Muslims plan on committing political violence, in Denmark, and we are told to fear a whirled wide conspiracy.

    Yet over 4,300 deaths are attributed to people in the US, illegally, each year, and we all just yawn.

    A cop is killed every 53 hours, and we are told to just move along, that factoid not part of the Zionist propaganda program.

  8. But it is much more relevant to the lives of Americans than the political violence caused by immigrants, that is going on in Denmark.

  9. While King reports 12 Americans are murdered daily by illegal aliens, he says 13 are killed by drunk illegal alien drivers – for another annual death toll of 4,745.

  10. So, according to Mr King, (R)-Iowa, illegal aliens are responsible for 25 deaths of US citizens every average day.

    More deaths in a single year than in all cumulative violence done by Muslims, in the US, over the past decade.

    Discount the raid by the foreign sponsored Wahhabi on 11SEP01 and the number of deaths caused by Muslims, in the US, drops off the comparison chart, totally.

  11. While the number of Muslims killed, by the military forces of the "Western Powers" or their proxies, in the past decade total further upward on the comparative scale, well beyond 100,000.

  12. Over 100,000 Muslims killed by "The West" in the past decade, in the "Clash of Civilization".

    Feeling any safer?

    Yet we're told to fear the blow back to our policies, as if those policies did not contribute to the blow back.

    How's that security through increased force thingy working out, for you.

    Feeling any safer?

  13. We spent a $ Trillion USD, battling the forces of terror over the past decade.

    Feeling any safer?

  14. The snow has quit falling, the sky is lighting up, I see a little blue here and there. What this means is that the high pressure is coming in, and what that means is the cold is coming in with it.

    Supposed to be below zero here tonight. Right on the forcasted time.

  15. There isn't anyone here that likes the idea of illegal aliens running around the country, raising hell.

    How that is relevant to the moslems and their problems vs us I do not really know.

    Seems like two different sets of problems to me, but I don't intend to get into an argument over it, being the holiday season and all.

  16. The Muslims, bob, do not represent a real threat, to US.

    The Saudi government may, the Pakistani government may, but Muslims, they do not.

    There is no US body count of significance attributable to "the Muslims".

    There are about 4,000 US dead, attributable to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but we have forgiven both those State Sponsors of Terror.

    Had forgiven the Sauds within two days of the 11SEP01 raid. When the Family Osama was allowed to escape the United States, prior to being interviewed by the FBI.

    The only civilian plane in the air, of 13SEP01, the Saudi jet taking the Family Osama back to Arabia.

    The Pakistani, given $12 Billion USD, since the raid.

  17. We are making war on Muslims, not them on US.

    There are US Armies in the Islamic Arc, there is no Islamic Army anywhere in Christiandom.

  18. By the same token, the US empowers Muslims in the Islamic Arc.

    We have provided the Turks with nuclear warheads.

    We have established two Islamic Republics and continue to run a huge balance of payments deficit with the Saudis and other Wahhabi in Arabia.

  19. Boxing trainer Joe Diaz has been calling for Mary Rose Wilcox to step down as Maricopa County Supervisor, since learning she used her position as boxing commission chair and as county supervisor to protect the criminal activity of Top Rank Boxing promotion’s Arizona front man Peter McKinn at Diaz’s expense.

    Diaz’s life was turned upside down beginning in 2004 when McKinn bounced a $5,000 check to one of Diaz’s fighters, Luis Ramon “Yori Boy” Campas.


    Long time Boxing Director John Montano, under whose watch illegal aliens and violent criminals were issued licenses, was asked to retire in April 2009 by Department of Racing (the umbrella agency for the boxing commission) Director Luis Marquez, who asked the commission to allow Montano to volunteer as chief inspector and have authority at sanctioned events, which was approved by the commission.

    Criminal Activity

  20. Speaking of boxing, a 'sport' I don't much like, did I mention "The Fighter" was a heck of a good movie?

    Happy endings all around (except of course for the guy that lost the title fight).

  21. Thanks, Bob. Guess I don't need to see it now.

  22. rat has won: I am SOOOOO ashamed to be an American.

  23. Go to that one Sam. I know I'm right about it because my wife liked it a lot too.

    I really didn't give away much, you know the guy is going to be champ.

    Based, as they say, on real life.

  24. 25 degrees and falling rapidly....streets no longer slick....got that cold sticky feel....

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  26. My daughter just walked in with a bag of purchases from Urban Outfitters. Two of those items were fedoras.

  27. O Lord now it starts.

    I'm leaving for a few days.

  28. It's a shame you have to put it in the comment section first.

    you should have just used this site

  29. .

    Melody, you continue to toy with me.


  30. Quirk, you continue to do things the hard way.

    Are you having trouble pasting it into the comments

  31. .


    I have the EB pulled up on two screens.

    There's a lot here.

    I'm checking out the links right now and correcting those that don't work. I just happened to plug that one in the wrong EB link by mistake.



  32. Mr Lee said earlier this month that an unstoppable change was taking place among the North's population and the South needed to get ready for reunification now, according to South Korean newspaper Joongang Daily.

    The government aims to complete plans in the first half of next year on how South Korea could fund reunification, Unification Minister Hyun In-taek said in October. "As the future of North Korea is becoming increasingly unpredictable, such preparation is necessary," said Park Joon-young, professor of international relations at Ewha Women's University.

    "Steering North Korean residents toward that goal is the thing that North Korea hates the most."

    North Korea

  33. .

    Mel, you minx.

    If not for you I would be done now.

    (Well the Red Wing game isn't helping either.)


  34. No one said you had to keep checking in.

    I could just compact that picture down to size and use it as my avatar.

    But then Whit would think I was a bad girl. Bob would go ape shit with crazy poetry, no pun intended, and Deuce would get annoyed.

    Sounds like a plan, eh?

  35. AN eight-year-old boy is fighting for life after suffering extreme burns when he fell into a geothermal pool in the New Zealand city of Rotorua.


    All the pools in the park are fenced off and have warning signs. A council spokesman said how the boy fell into the pool was still under investigation.

    Rotorua's hot pools have claimed several victims over the years, most recently in August last year when a 61-year-old man was found dead in a privately-owned pool.

    New Zealand

  36. So, Sam how was your trip? I know I asked but I didn't read you response.

  37. Quirk, you do know that today is your deadline. And I'm getting tired.

  38. Yeah, good. Thanks, Mel.

    Caught the biggest squid I've ever caught off the pier there at Marion Bay. The length of his head probably about 12".

    Paddled 2 days. 1st day and 3rd day. Beached the kayak and did some beach combing.

    Wind came up the 2nd day so we went for a drive and checked out different areas on the Yorke Peninsula. Stopped at a couple pubs. Talked with the locals.

    Stopped at a guys little backyard seafood outlet operation on the way home and bought $100 of a variety of things.

    Great time. 102' in Adelaide today.

  39. Maybe Adelaide is where I need to be right now.

    I'm glad you had a good time.

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  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. .

    Blogger kicked me out similar to what it did to Rufus.

    I had to go back in with a new e-mail address. I'm surprised it gave me the same screen name back.


  43. allen certainly shames easily.

    A fair weather patriot, it seems.

    Or no patriot, at all, if the reality of US policies bring him such shame, that he publicly admits to it.

  44. allen does not like the lessons learned, of the past decade, as they do not correspond, correctly, to the Zionist story line they have so meticulously prepared.

  45. .

    Sounds like a plan, eh?

    As far as I'm concerned you could crop the photo quite a bit. The whole picture looks great but there is just something about that ass that is mesmerizing.

    WiO said he didn't like the tattoo.
    I said what tattoo?

    (Actually, I don't really care for body art either but I have to admit the coloring on that one is pretty sharp.)


  46. .

    Quirk, you do know that today is your deadline. And I'm getting tired.

    Go to bed Mel.

    At this point, December 29, December 30, what difference does it make?


  47. Kurt Westergaard, the artist who drew the most contentious of 12 cartoons, said the foiled plot was "a direct attack on democracy and freedom of press".

    "We may not and won't let anyone forbid us to criticise radical Islamism. We may not be intimidated when it comes to our values," Westergaard told the German tabloid Bild.

    Saepo spokeswoman Katarina Sevcik said they had for the moment found no connection between the suspects arrested on Wednesday and the December 11 bombing in which an Islamist militant blew himself up in Sweden's first suicide attack.

    Terror Plot

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. It's odd, but I'll be damned if I can remember any tattoos on your arms, Melody.

    But perhaps I am wrong?

  50. Very impressive comments,'Rat:

    A POV I was selling for years, to so little effect that I quit.
    Maybe the masses will not recognise the problem until the warfare north of the border becomes indistinguishable from that south of said border.

    Couldn't it just as easily be said to be the Presbyterian Propaganda line?
    No greater enabler than the Compassionate Christian Conservative...

    "Honest" George W

  51. 143. Keith

    Privatised Social Security – 30 years on!

    John Lott linked to this,
    The Chilean Model

    Chile privatised its social security 30 years ago, and it is now debt free.

    An actual example we can point to of where it has been tried, and surprise surprise (well no surprise to Belmont Clubbers anyway) it worked almost twice as well as forecast.

    Would that Margaret Thatcher and Ronnie Reagan had stuck as close to Hayek’s & Friedman’s ideas as their friend Augusto Pinochet did.

  52. By any measure, 2010 was the year when conventional wisdom was challenged, redefined or comprehensively overturned. A Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition assumed power in Britain and the sky did not fall in; the eurozone ceased being a shelter and became a source of instability; Barack Obama succeeded where so many had failed and pushed through healthcare and financial services reform; Silvio Berlusconi survived a string of sex scandals; Tony Blair, reputedly one of the most hated men in Britain, wrote a best-selling memoir; and Qatar, an up-and-coming oil-rich emirate, won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, alongside a Russian bid for 2018 that saw off England.


    The 2009 recapitalisation of the banks, coupled with massive deficit spending, saved the world from a 1930s-style Depression. In 2010, the bill came due in the form of a sovereign debt crisis.


    In 2010, China overtook Japan as the second-largest economy in the world and will soon be the world’s largest manufacturer. China also became more assertive, much to the discomfort of its neighbours.

    Year of the Unconventional