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Buzzkill alert — it’s getting harder to retire

The “three-legged stool” of retirement is broken.

A 2018 study found over half of American adults think about retirement at least four times per week.

In 2022, we’ll take the over on that number.

Due to several factors, America is in the midst of a looming retirement crisis, per Bloomberg.

What’s happening?

For decades, Americans have relied on an increasingly unsteady “three-legged stool of retirement,” consisting of:

  • Pensions, AKA “defined-benefit plans,” which are steadily being replaced by more cost-effective defined-contribution plans funded and managed by workers.
  • Social Security, which was introduced in the 1930s to protect Americans in their later years — but the fund’s reserves are on pace to dry up by 2035.
  • Personal savings, which are down across the board. Only half of private-sector workers have an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and those who do lost a collective ~$3.4T in the first half of 2022.

For those that do have enough to retire, rising inflation means they may not live as comfortably as expected.

So what’s the solution?

Social Security reform is a hot topic in Washington, and there have been several recent proposals to revamp the program.

There’s also the idea of a government-backed retirement account that workers can use across employers, but it hasn’t gained much traction since being introduced 15 years ago.

Until something more promising comes along, just try not to think about retirement if you can help it.

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