Now that the stock market has taken another huge tumble in the past couple of trading days what will happen to the retirement plans of Americans. Well not all Americans of course, according to a recent study by Charles Schwab & Co., 34 percent of American households don’t have retirement funds. These people have come to accept the myth that they can retire on Social Security Benefits and be able to live out the rest of their lives on a sunny beach in California or Florida. Think Mississippi folks! The average Social Security Benefit is $1,066.00 a month.
Well maybe the other two-thirds of Americans with some retirement savings will live a happier and carefree life? Maybe not, many of the lucky Americans who have a 401k, annuities, and other retirement savings only average about $2,000.00 in holdings. Even though the average retirement account in America is at just below $50,000.00 the median amount is just below $2,000.00. Many of these people will be joining the Social Security set in Mississippi if they want to retire on the beach.
Most of the baby boomers when polled on how much money should one hold to live out your life through retirement picked the cheery number of $500,000.00 needed to retire comfortably. “The average American household has virtually no chance to reach an adequate retirement savings in the next 50 years,” commented Christian Weller of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).”
According to a survey by Harris Poll conducted earlier this year, “While many Americans’ retirement plans look bleak because they don’t have enough money saved, 84% of high net worth baby boomers believe their retirement will be better than their parents. Seventy percent of these boomers said they plan to work in retirement even if it is part time simply “to remain more active and engaged.” That translate to a huge number of retirees who’ll be trying to get new jobs after they formally retire…imagine a 25% plus unemployment rate in the next twenty years. There are not enough jobs now for the 24 million people who are unemployed or underemployed today.
What will happen in the next couple of weeks if the stock market continues to shake out the bad news of the global economy? Those 401k plans that were sold to our soon to be retirees by Wall Street will continue to decline in value, the market lost over $1 trillion dollars in one day last week, and if you’d really tracked the value of the average 401k plan over the past twenty years, they have basically remained relatively flat. But of course not many people were really paying attention to the ‘real’ value of their 401k plans, too bad. Some of you might have been better to have hidden your money under a bush in your back yard given the volatility of the past few years in the financial markets.
Now if you live in San Diego, by golly, you might as well already be retired. Mostly sunny days, the beaches are close to just about anyone in America’s FinestCity, a good majority of San Diegans have an above average income and the crime rate continues to decline, according to our crack representatives.
On the other hand, if you’re about to retire and don’t hold a 401k, annuity, or any real savings maybe heading down to Mississippi and look into the following towns along the Gulf Coast: Bailey, Baird, Baldwyn, Banks, Banner, Barnett, Barr, Basic, Bassfield, Batesville, Battles, MS, Baxterville, Bay Saint Louis, Bay Springs, Beatty, Beaumont, Beauregard, Belden, Belen, Bellefontaine, Belmont, Belzoni, Benndale, Benoit, Benton, Bentonia, Betheden, Big Point, Bigbee, Bigbee Valley, Biggersville, Biloxi, Bissell, Black Hawk, Blaine, Blue Mountain, Blue Springs, Bobo, Bogue Chitto, Bolivar, Bolton, Bond, Bonhomie, Booneville, Bourbon, Boyle, Branch, Brandon, Braxton, Brookhaven, Brooklyn, Brooksville, Brownsville, Bruce, Buckatunna, Bude, Burns, Burnside, Burnsville, Byhalia, Byram and these are just the “B” towns. Good luck down there and watch out for the tornadoes, hot weather, floods and of course, the new hurricane season.
“You can be young without money but you can’t be old without it.” TennesseeWilliams Writer (1911-1983)