If you happen to be a Millennial, you may need to work well beyond the retirement age of 65. According to NerdWallet, a personal finance website, today’s college graduates will not be able to retire until the age of 73 due to high student loan debt. NerdWallet estimates that the median student debt load of $23,300 will cost students over $115,000 (in today’s dollars) by the time they retire. So instead of saving for retirement, many Millennials will be paying off hefty student loans.
[Image via NerdWallet]
NerdWallet also compared three different student profiles to estimate retirement outcomes: Struggling, Normal, and Well-off graduates. The estimates show that even “well-off graduates” with a relatively low student loan debt will need to work into their late 60s.
[Image via NerdWallet]
However, Millennials are not the only group that are expected to work beyond the current retirement age. The Associated Press reported on Monday that the world is facing a “retirement crisis” for workers of all ages. “Many people will be forced to work well past the traditional retirement age of 65. Living standards will fall and poverty rates will rise for the elderly in wealthy countries that built safety nets for seniors after World War II,” AP reported.
Some of the contributing factors to the retirement crisis include the loss of wealth during the global recession of 2009, stagnant wages over time, and elimination of pension plans by many companies. Even in Washington, the two-year budget passed by Congress cuts pensions for military personnel and requires new federal workers to contribute 4.4 percent of their salaries to their pension plans.
The retirement crisis affects both the young and the elderly. 80 percent of working families in America have retirement savings that is less than their annual income and 38 million working-age Americans don’t have a retirement account at all, according to the National Institute of Retirement Security. In addition, the United States faces a retirement savings deficit that falls somewhere between $6.8 and $14 trillion.
At this rate, not only will young Americans saddled with student debt have to work for nearly a decade beyond the retirement age of 65, but many baby boomers and the elderly will eventually grow too old to work but too poor to retire – all of which will result in more people living in or near poverty.
So as Congress lurches from crisis to crisis every two or three months, there needs to be a national conversation about the retirement crisis that could impoverish both young and elderly Americans.
[Image via CNN]