Basics: White female, making less than $35,000 working as a library assistant. The 55-year-old wants to retire, but there’s no chance of that happening anytime soon. When it comes to baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), the Kent resident says they shouldn’t hold their breaths waiting for a pension check to show up in the mailbox. Those days, for many, are over.
How have your retirement plans changed over the years? “I’m afraid the luxury of retirement is something that is out of reach for our generation. I think that our parents’ generation are going to end up being the only ones that will ever get to retire. Our generation will be working until we die and that’s going to have a huge impact on the younger generation, because there won’t be jobs available to them while they wait for our generation to leave our jobs.
“There will be no retirement for our generation. That’s gone forever. No Social Security, no public pensions, none of that. Those things are going to disappear very soon and we’ll be left to our own devices. …
“Sucks, but … that’s the new normal for the boomer generation.”
Will you have enough? “I’m on the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System, but I don’t have an annuity, 401K or a Roth [IRA]. I’ll get 66 percent of my final salary, which is nothing because I haven’t had a raise in so long. But I worry. … I was raised that when you retire, you will have a pension and didn’t need all that extra nonsense. But now when I’m at the supermarket and standing in line looking at all of the magazines and tabloids … every single one says you have to have at least a million dollars to retire.
“I’m never going to have a million dollars. Who are we kidding?”
You want to retire. Where will you be in 10 years? She’ll be 65, and probably still working.
“A lot of people my age are saying, ‘I don’t think I can ever retire.’ In fact, almost every person I know who is around my age has said, ‘Retirement? That’s not going to happen. …’
“And that is probably what is going to happen to my generation. We won’t have the luxury of retirement. We will work until we die.”
America Today project seeks citizen input
This project opens journalism to a two-way street. In the hope of learning what you’re thinking and getting citizens more involved in our stories, we’ve added an interactive experiment: We are offering you an opportunity to answer some of the same tough questions we are posing to citizens in the America Today series.
In addition to the traditional Ohio.com comment page, the newspaper is partnering with the Civic Commons, an online organization that encourages respectful and informed debate of tough issues from a variety of perspectives and experiences.
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