Charles Payne

"I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it." -Groucho Marx

The shocking headline from Employee Benefit Research Institute (ebri.org) probably didn't make any headlines in Main Street newspapers, and didn't trend anywhere, but it's hard to think of any more damming news than 36% of workers only have $1,000 or less saved up for retirement. It's beyond shocking to mortifying, and yet there isn't a sense of urgency to make this better. On the contrary, whenever I turn on the television or pick up a magazine (I'm old school), the chatter is more about the up-coming crash in the stock market and why the housing rebound is on shaky ground.

Ironically, even as traditional avenues for wealth accumulation, the stock market and home ownership have been firing on all cylinders, people actually slipped into a more precarious situation. In 2013, only 28% of workers had $1,000 or less squirreled away for retirement. At this rate people will have to work forever and retirement will consist of a single weekend in Atlantic City. Yet there is no sense of urgency, from what I can tell, as more and more Americans kind of give up on the future. It's not only retirement, but the stuff we always saved and sacrificed for we believe in less and less.

To be sure people are saving money, but not enough for things like retirement, to purchase a home or put a kid through college. Here's the rub - they are doing this on purpose, and that's the problem people have such little faith in the future they're saving for other things. Workers Saving for Retirement:

2000 78%
2009 65%
2014 57%

Workers Retirement Condition

Cover the Basics

Live Comfortably

2007

40%

27%

2009

25%

13%

2014

29%

18%

Living like Groucho


Charles Payne

Charles V. Payne is a regular contributor to the Fox Business and Fox News Networks. He is also the Chief Executive Officer and Principle Analyst of Wall Street Strategies, Inc. (WSSI), founded in 1991 which provides subscription analytical services to both individual and institutional investors.
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