Many workers close to retirement age face the global retirement crisis bearing down on them. Indeed, workers of all ages are feeling the heat, as the crisis of 2008 will affect individuals and their retirements for years to come.
To say that most people will be forced to work past their retirement age is an understatement. Many will be forced to work much longer, well into their “natural retirement years.” If you put together the fact that governments around the world are struggling to put proper retirement systems in place, with the fact that people lost so much money in 2008, you have a recipe for disaster.
Major problems are now arising as the generation born after World War II moves into retirement.
“The first wave of under-prepared workers is going to try to go into retirement and will find they can’t afford to do so,” says Norman Dreger, a retirement specialist with the consulting firm Mercer in Frankfurt, Germany.
The Three Biggest Crisis Factors
The three biggest factors in the global retirement crisis are:
- Countries are slashing retirement benefits, and raising the age to start collecting them.
- Many companies have eliminated traditional pension plans that guaranteed employees a monthly check in retirement. This has destroyed retirement for many.
- Individuals spent freely and failed to save before the recession, and saw much of their wealth disappear once it hit.
“Most countries are not ready to meet what is sure to be one of the defining challenges of the 21st century,” the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington concludes.
There are steps to be taken, but we have fallen so far behind that it will be decades before we stop feeling the effects of all that has happened over the last five years.