This is one of the reasons I get so pissed off when young people start attacking boomers. They don’t get that our wages fell steadily for the past three decades while we were supposedly living high on the hog:
Many Americans are being forced to put off retirement thanks to mountains of debt and lower wages, a feature in today’s Wall Street Journal asserts. Because wages have barely kept up with inflation over the past 35 years, Americans have been borrowing more money and saving less. As of 2008, a whopping four of every five households headed up by 60- to- 64-year-olds didn’t have enough savings to pay off their debt without touching their retirement accounts.
Mortgages are the biggest culprit. Last year 39% of households with heads in their early 60s still had primary mortgages to pay off, and another 20% had secondary mortgages—up from 22% and 12% respectively in 1994. And thanks to the housing downturn, those would-be retirees can’t just sell their house at a fat profit as many had long planned. “I imagine I’ll be working until I’m 70,” laments one 59-year-old minister buried under mortgage and credit card debt.