Recent reports shed new light on the reality of the fears of the elderly for their futures. Despite all the talk of government benefits and retirement income plans, the reality of the situation is stark.
The US has a top-heavy workforce burdened by credit-card debt. This is a reversal of the findings in a 2008 report.
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There are some bright sides, however. Those with heavy credit-card debt have been aided by the 2009 Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD) to better manage
their debt and pay balances down faster.
The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has also issued two reports of concern. The first finds that debt levels for the elderly have spiked. In 2010, those over age 75 had debt greater than 40% of their income.
The second report found that, although older Americans were somehow able to avoid dipping into their savings, the rate at which they outspent their incomes was 50% or more.
Those over age 65 with spending that exceeded their incomes by as much as 175% numbered 14.3% in 2009.
Those outspending their incomes by 50% numbered 19.2%. Social Security remains the primary source of income for the elderly.
Another recent report by HSBC says that most retirees will spend the last seven years of their lives running out of money.
The average length of retirement internationally is now 18 years. Average retirement savings are projected to last only 10
of those years.