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Retirement woes

This morning’s newspaper reminds one how new and how precarious the pension system is. Essentially, the company defined benefit pension was a product of the postwar years. As American manufacturing moved abroad, those pensions were turned into defined contribution schemes. Their management and their risk was turned over to the individual. Not surprisingly, with no training in pension management and a planning perspective limited to tomorrow, individuals have failed to take care of their futures. With fewer children and those that we do have living far away, the elderly will have to fend for themselves and with precious little in hand. Some talk of working forever but this fantasy suggests a booming job market for octogenarians. This when the real rate of unemployment is probably over ten percent. The next few decades promise to be interesting ones for my generation.

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