(WatchDogReport.org) – A large part of the “American Dream” has always been the ability to leave the working grind behind and transition into a slower-paced, more leisurely lifestyle for the final stages of life. Ideally, this would happen before the constraints of growing older limit the ability to enjoy well-earned relaxation. Unfortunately, many Americans may not experience actual retirement.
The rate of people remaining in the workforce into their 70s is increasing. By 2026 it is expected that the percentage of workers in the labor force over the age of 75 will reach 11%. In 2021 the poverty rate for elderly citizens topped 10% and continues to increase. Many older Americans simply do not have the funds to retire. Some are still paying off debt accrued years ago, and are forced to live paycheck to paycheck.
Reasons for this work-till-you-can’t trend are varied. Several workers over 59 have been employed by smaller companies that do not offer retirement options or pensions plans. Others have been self-employed and unable to save the desired $1 million + that is believed to be necessary to retire comfortably.
In 2022 those that did have money in retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) or an IRA, lost around 20% from those accounts due to inflation and the fact that stocks and bonds both plummeted.
People approaching retirement age with no savings have options, although they may not be ideal. Social security benefits almost double if the retiree waits until age 70 to begin drawing benefits instead of taking advantage of the ability to draw benefits at age 62. For homeowners, a reverse mortgage might be a feasible option. But many have opted or have no choice except to continue working until age 70 or beyond. Even fewer Americans will be able to retire after the trust fund for the Social Security program is depleted, as expected, by 2033.
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