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No More Golden Years

retirement planning for seniorsRetirement is supposed to be the “golden years.” Today, the golden years maybe a thing of the past. It is estimated three quarters of Americans facing retirement age have approximately $30,000 in savings. The failure of Americans of retirement age to develop a significant amount of savings may have a long term impact on retirement in United States.

401K Plans Versus Pensions

In the past, Americans of retirement age relied on pensions for monthly income. Extremely few Americans still have pension plans. Pension plans were replaced decades ago by 401 K plans, for most Americans. These 401 K plans presumed Americans would have the foresight and ability to save on a regular basis for their old age.

Teresa Ghilarducci, a Professor of Economics at the New School, in a recent New York Times interview stated individuals were “asked to do what they were not responsible enough to carry out, which was to set up a long term savings plan that anticipated future financial needs.” The savings accumulated by the middle class senior citizens will not be sufficient for the large majority to support their standard of living. It is estimated Americans should save eight times their annual income to maintain their living standards.

Retirement In Poverty

The majority of Americans, when they reach retirement age, will have allocated less than $5.00 a day for food. This will put them at the poverty level. Social Security will not provide a safety net sufficient to meet retired Americans long term needs. Americans should look at Social Security as a base for their savings not as a safety net. It will not be enough to live on! This is especially true with the movement among certain political parties to reduce government benefits to senior Americans.

Job Opportunities For Seniors

When a worker who is more than 55 years of age loses his or her job they find it difficult to find new employment. When they find new employment they are often required to work for reduced wages or on a part time basis. The unemployment rates among Americans 55 and older are higher than those of the general population.

About The Author

elder planning and estate administrationElliot S. Schlissel is in elder care attorney helping senior Americans in dealing with medicaid issues, nursing home issues and drafting wills, trusts and healthcare proxies.

Retirement Planning for Single Americans

Who prepares better for retirement, married couples or single individuals? The answer is married couples. More than 85% of married couples have saving plans related to their retirement. This compares with only 67% of single individuals who have established retirement savings programs.

Retirement Planning

Americans who have worked during the course of their lives are entitled to receive Social Security benefits. Social Security is an entitlement program. Another entitlement program working Americans have the benefit of is medicare. Medicare is a program that pays for a variety of medical treatments for senior citizens. It pays for hospital stays, doctors visits and prescription drugs. Medicare is not designed to pay for nursing home care. If a senior is placed in a nursing home for rehabilitation purposes, Medicare will cover up to 100 days of the expenses of the nursing home facility. However, if a senior needs to go into a nursing home because he or she just can’t take care themselves, Medicare is not designed to pay this expense. Seniors can buy catastrophic health care insurance to cover this type of expense.

Retirement Savings Plan

There are various types of retirement savings programs. Some employers have pension plans for their employees. Another type of savings program through employment is called a 401K plan. This allows the wage earner to save without paying current income taxes for a portion of his or her income. Individual retirement accounts are yet another type of retirement savings program that provides tax benefits.

How Much Is Necessary To Save For Retirement

The amount of money an individual or family needs to put aside for retirement varies with the lifestyle and cost of living of the people involved. Most financial planners suggest that retired Americans will require between 75% and 80% of the income they had during their working lives for their retirement. This is a figure that is hard for most Americans to meet. Most families and singles reduce their expenditures and live simpler lives in retirement, thereby preserving their limited assets.

Elder Care Lawyer

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo provides elder care legal services to our clients. We draft wills and trusts. We probate wills. We deal with Medicaid planning issues. We assist our clients with nursing home issues. We provide all types of elder care legal representation. We also draft special needs trusts and supplemental needs trusts for our clients. Should you need a will, trust or an elder care attorney, call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?

perry-150x150Republican politicians have recently referred to Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme”. This is an absurd misrepresentation of a program that has helped keep many of America’s senior citizens out of poverty. Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, in a recent debate, stated “it is a Ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you’re paying into a program that’s going to be there. Anybody that’s for the status quo with Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids, and that’s not right.” What’s not right is that Governor Rick Perry is clueless as to the nature and makeup of the Social Security system!

Ponzi Scheme
Ponzi Schemes are swindles where early investors are paid with money invested by later investors. The later investors never receive a return on their investments or their principal back. Ponzi schemes involve investors who are lied to about their eventual payouts. The Social Security system in the United States is an open system. Annual reports are prepared by trustees. These trustees project the future of the program 75 years in advance. Social Security has been paying benefits to seniors for decades. It has never missed a payment to recipients. The program is currently fully funded to pay all benefits for seniors through the year 2036.

Governor Rick Perry

Perry’s comments about Social Security are inexcusable nonsense! Social Security is an entitlement program because Americans pay into Social Security during the course of their working lives. Entitlement programs are a type of insurance. Social Security is not a form of welfare! It is a social insurance policy. During the course of each American’s working life, he or she pays into a pool, so when he or she reaches retirement age, they will be able to receive the benefits from this pool.
Social Security Trust Funds

The Social Security Trust Fund will have a surplus that will reach it’s peak in the year 2022. At that time, the surplus in the fund will be 3.7 trillion dollars. Social Security is a program that has worked for more than 50 years. Politicians shouldn’t mess with a system that already works well.

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Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has been helping seniors with regard to elder law matters for three decades. Our Law Office prepares wills and trusts. We handle medicaid planning, nursing home abuse and all estate related problems. We also draft revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts for our clients. We have extensive experience in preparing special needs trusts for our clients who have children with special needs. Call for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
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