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Wealth Chasm Between Old and Young

Let us set aside the rich bankers versus the every day person or the 1% versus the other 99%.  The true gap resides in generational wealth.   According to a Pew Research Study, older americans were 47 times more wealthy than younger americans in 2009 while that ratio was a modest 10 times in 1984:

Also notice that today's 65 year old is 41.5% wealthier than his parent while the median 35 year old has 31.8% of the wealth of his parent (all in 2010 dollars)

Social Security and Medicare continue to pay out healthy entitlement benefits to current retirees at the cost of future tax payers.  The median 35 year old is struggling to get his/her head above water, much less save money in a retirement plan.  In other words, government provided retirement benefits for the 65+ cohort will be paid by the 35 year old individuals who have saved nothing for their own retirements.  This same 35 year old cohort will most likely receive little or no entitlement benefits in the future as the US deficit is balanced.

How did this happen?  A healthy stock market from 1980-2000, prolific economic growth, robust jobs market, and a 30 year easy money central bank policy which provided a debt-fueled binge.

To the 65+ cohort with private pension retirement payments, social security checks, fully paid health care, and a robust private brokerage/retirement account due to 30 years of declining interest rates and rising stock prices – congratulations for winning the generational lottery at the cost of other generations.

Posted in Economics, Media, Politics.

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