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Why Baby Boomers are Working Til They Drop

by Brett on September 1, 2010

Well, you probably know the answer – because their retirement nest eggs have unfortunately been turned sunny side up by the 2007-2009 stock market crash.  Private pension plans are toast – they’ll never be able to deliver on the expected returns required to keep those legalized ponzi schemes going.  And forget about our social safety nets – you know the drill there.

Only government pension recipients are able to hang it up at the traditional age, writes Charles Smith:

A tiny percentage of Boomers will inherit substantial wealth, the 17% who work for “the gummit” will exit with pensions and benefits private sector retirees can only dream about, leaving many of the other 83% to labor until they drop dead or are too enfeebled to work.

The younger generations are left with the bitter fruit of excess and greed: the government jobs vacated by Boomers are in many cases vanishing as state and local governments are slashing jobs in order to fund the bloated pensions for Boomers.

Instead of clearing out and opening up opportunities for younger workers, the private-sector Boomers are clinging to their jobs out of financial neccessity.

I say this as an observation, not as a setup for a “solution.” I don’t see any solution; I sympathize with the Boomers who have seen their retirement funds torched by stock and housing declines, and I also sympathize with the young generation who is chafing under limited opportunities as people who should be retiring or moving out of fulltime jobs are working into their 70s.

More from Charles in his excellent piece: The Peculiar Dynamic of Boomers’ Non-Retirement


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