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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Retirement planning, investing, likely to become higher profile issues for both young and old

Observation:  There was an interesting contrast in coverage on the topic of money management and planning for the future in this morning’s newspaper.  First, USA Today explained how Gen Y, generally speaking, is lagging a bit when it comes to financial literacy and personal money management.  Click here to see that story.

A few moments later, I came across a story from the Wall Street Journal that “does the math” and considers the implications of Social Security and Medicare funding that could run dry as soon as 2016, or 2033, depending on the benefits on is entitled to.  Click here to see that story.  

Implications:   The politics of this issue are sure to be given a higher profile in the coming months and years, but that’s not why I bring this issue up.  Consider the implications of an aging Boomer population that will soon be (if not already) drawing on Social Security and Medicare benefits… and a younger Millennial and Gen X population that is asked to pay more to fund these benefit programs at a time when they’re focusing on simply getting their own financial act together.  (In the end, I’m guessing that both an increase in funding and a reduction in benefits is in the cards, if and when Washington seriously addresses this issue.)

Ultimately, retirement planning is likely to be embraced as something each individual must worry about for him or herself, unable to anticipate that a government plan or program will be sufficient either for sustenance or healthcare needs.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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