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<span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="font-size: 17pt">A secure retirement a fading dream for growing numbers</span></span>

By<span style="font-weight: bold"> Jeff Johnson</span>
Special to the Star-Banner
Published: Sunday, March 24, 2013

To hear some people talk, you’d think all older Americans were living large on Easy Street. Policy wonks debate whether older people have too many advantages. Every week, it seems as though Washington comes up with another proposal to cut Social Security benefits, restrict Medicare eligibility or scale back veterans’ benefits.

But a new AARP Florida survey reflects a far more sobering reality for Floridians 50 and older, and by extension, older Americans across the nation:

Some 53 percent of Florida voters age 50-plus now say they plan to put off complete retirement, compared to only 8 percent who say they are very likely to retire as planned.

Asked why they are planning to work past what they considered “retirement age,” 62 percent of them said they will need the money.

Older Floridians overwhelmingly say they are banking on Social Security to be there for them when they retire. Some 83 percent say they expect Social Security to provide income for them in retirement.

By contrast, only 48 percent are expecting a pension from their employer, and less than half expect income from stock investments (46 percent), an IRA (38 percent) or a 401(k) retirement account (33 percent).

Only a little more than one in four (27 percent) say they are very satisfied with the money they are putting into savings. Some 35 percent are not very, or not at all, satisfied.

At first glance, the results of this survey, which is based on interviews with more than 800 Floridians age 50 and older in December, seem to be out of step with rising economic optimism. Surging stock prices and a strengthening real estate market have a lot of Floridians feeling more upbeat lately.
But a brighter outlook for Wall Street isn’t erasing retirement concerns for ordinary Floridians. If anything, they’re in a darker mood. In a 2011 AARP survey, 44 percent of older Floridians voiced concern about being able to retire when they wished. This time around, an additional 9 percent are voicing concern about working into retirement.

Now comes news that Washington is considering further cuts that would hurt older Floridians. President Barack Obama and some in Congress say they’d support a plan to shrink cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security and veterans’ benefits, so benefits would slip further and further behind inflation.

How much further? Floridians would see Social Security benefits cut by nearly $8 billion over 10 years, while veterans would see a cut of $1.24 billion over the same period. For individual Floridians, the impacts would vary, but many would lose thousands of dollars in hard-earned benefits.

Meanwhile, some in Congress propose big changes in Medicare designed to shift more of the cost of health care onto the shoulders of older Floridians.

Perhaps this is why survey results show that a growing number of 50-plus Americans are seeing the dream of a secure, stable retirement slipping out of reach.

AARP now predicts that unless we are able to reverse the trends that are driving the decline of the middle class, many of today’s middle-class workers will not have a middle-class retirement. In fact, 30 percent of those currently in the middle class will become low income in retirement.

It’s tough to find any national leader voicing concern about the growing threat to a secure retirement. Instead, our national and state policy leaders seem to think the government’s own balance sheets are the only ones that matter.
AARP Florida invites you to tell them they’re wrong. If you agree that a secure middle-class retirement is crucial to Florida’s and America’s future, as well as your own, go to www.earnedasay.org. Raise your voice in support of a secure retirement for all generations of Americans. Do it today. It may be important for your future.
 

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It never ceases to amaze how these folks, president included always want to cut the people who can least afford it. Have any of them agreed to a pay cut ?
 

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the people who make and pass the laws are not affected by them. government pensions will set them up for a real comfortable retirement. the average folks who work all their lives and try to save for retirement and are then penalized because they did a good job are the ones getting burnt. and the kicker is, when you die your kids will also get burnt on estate taxes. the politicians and especially the president are waaaaay out of touch. they want to reward people for doing nothing to better themselves and punish those who do to pay for it. i personally plan on retiring on the 32000 bricks of 22 ammo i have stashed.
 

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pumpgun said:
the people who make and pass the laws are not affected by them. government pensions will set them up for a real comfortable retirement. the average folks who work all their lives and try to save for retirement and are then penalized because they did a good job are the ones getting burnt. and the kicker is, when you die your kids will also get burnt on estate taxes. the politicians and especially the president are waaaaay out of touch. they want to reward people for doing nothing to better themselves and punish those who do to pay for it. i personally plan on retiring on the 32000 bricks of 22 ammo i have stashed.
Well said. The government are a bunch of empty suit, lying theives that haven`t a clue about real life.
 
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