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(Washington Post)   Shockingly, low-wage workers earning $13/hr don't have a stable retirement laid out that will support them for decades   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 215
    More: Obvious, Social Security benefits, Vanguard, salary, retirement, pension plans  
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2730 clicks; posted to Business » on 15 Jan 2013 at 12:04 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



215 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-01-15 11:48:19 AM  
I see this crisis as an opportunity, a crisitunity if you will.

Daily we read about people shooting other people, that doesn't seem to be going away.  Conversely, we see many people who cannot retire because they cannot afford to do so.

Solution:  Have those people who want to shoot other human beings, shoot people who are at retirement age.  This will placate those looking to kill someone, reducing "murders", while easing the financial burdens on society that come with retirement.  As an added bonus, the medicare costs would be reduced substantially, except wherein someone is an exceptionally poor shot.

/I'm an ideas weasel.
 
2013-01-15 12:11:57 PM  
I can think of a few ideas, or modest proposals, if you will.
 
2013-01-15 12:12:31 PM  
It's times like these I'm glad that all my money is in a box in the wall behind the television.

//Now I have to kill you all.
 
2013-01-15 12:15:57 PM  
Fun fact: If you're making $13 an hour in the US, working full time, you're making significantly more than most families living in Italy (median household income: $24,000 USD a year) and are making about what the median wage earner in the UK is making ($26,500 USD a year).

In the US, we call it "low wage work". In much of Europe, they call it "middle class".
 
hej
2013-01-15 12:17:00 PM  
I realize that nobody is going to live like a king on that money, but when did $13/hour become "low wage"?
 
2013-01-15 12:17:45 PM  
I'd kill to make $13/hour! Last job paid $10.50/hr. Thanks, decades of wage stagflation!
 
2013-01-15 12:18:26 PM  
Social Security was conceived of in a time where people worked right up close to their meager life expectancy of 60 years or so. Many never even got to the point of collecting it. It was almost an insurance policy against the possibility of living too long. As that life expectancy grew, retirement age remained stagnant.

So, what now? Do we raise the retirement age? The problem there is that though life expectancy has risen, quality of life for those additional years has not necessarily improved much. People are kept alive, but that doesn't mean they are fit to work, unless their job is purely intellectual...e.g., lawyer, professor, etc.

Or, do we raise Social Security taxes? Or both?

No answer is ideal, but the one answer that we cannot choose is "f*ck 'em".
 
2013-01-15 12:18:50 PM  
I'm sure by "low wage earner" subby meant to say "those making 8% more per year than the overall median personal income for all individuals over the age of 18 in the United States"

Or, you know, more than 48% of American wage earners made in 2010.

/perspective
 
2013-01-15 12:20:43 PM  

meanmutton: Fun fact: If you're making $13 an hour in the US, working full time, you're making significantly more than most families living in Italy (median household income: $24,000 USD a year) and are making about what the median wage earner in the UK is making ($26,500 USD a year).

In the US, we call it "low wage work". In much of Europe, they call it "middle class".


They also have much broader social safety nets. Are you suggesting we switch to Universal Healthcare, ala britain? I'd be all for that, personally...
 
2013-01-15 12:20:54 PM  
If $13/hour is low wage, I must be slave labor.

/13 years in IT... $8.35/hour.
//Everyone wants their computer fixed for free.
 
2013-01-15 12:21:08 PM  

hej: I realize that nobody is going to live like a king on that money, but when did $13/hour become "low wage"?


Jeez... Walk around in S.F. for a while. The homeless ask you for a spare $5 or $10.
 
2013-01-15 12:22:48 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Social Security was conceived of in a time where people worked right up close to their meager life expectancy of 60 years or so. Many never even got to the point of collecting it. It was almost an insurance policy against the possibility of living too long. As that life expectancy grew, retirement age remained stagnant.

So, what now? Do we raise the retirement age? The problem there is that though life expectancy has risen, quality of life for those additional years has not necessarily improved much. People are kept alive, but that doesn't mean they are fit to work, unless their job is purely intellectual...e.g., lawyer, professor, etc.

Or, do we raise Social Security taxes? Or both?

No answer is ideal, but the one answer that we cannot choose is "f*ck 'em".


It was also not meant to be the sole source of income once someone reached that age.

Unfortunately, many people cannot afford to save a significant sum towards retirement and many other just choose not to do so.

It's a shiat sandwich. We raise the tax, we make it harder for those who cannot afford to save to make ends meet and harder for those who can afford to save to save a decent sum. We raise the retirement age, we're screwing the folks who cannot continue to work that long... some jobs just are not suitable for people in their 60s to still be doing.

We're just farked.
 
2013-01-15 12:32:48 PM  
My friends nephew just turned 18 and is making approx $11.40 (if you count in commission) doing sales work.

If you aren't making at least that you must pretty much suck at your job.
 
2013-01-15 12:33:00 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: No answer is ideal, but the one answer that we cannot choose is "f*ck 'em".


Which is precisely the answer the ruling class has decided upon.
 
2013-01-15 12:33:19 PM  

ajgeek: If $13/hour is low wage, I must be slave labor.

/13 years in IT... $8.35/hour.
//Everyone wants their computer fixed for free.


Off-shoring our jobs makes money for the corporation.

It will trickle down, right?
 
2013-01-15 12:34:02 PM  

akula: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Social Security was conceived of in a time where people worked right up close to their meager life expectancy of 60 years or so. Many never even got to the point of collecting it. It was almost an insurance policy against the possibility of living too long. As that life expectancy grew, retirement age remained stagnant.

So, what now? Do we raise the retirement age? The problem there is that though life expectancy has risen, quality of life for those additional years has not necessarily improved much. People are kept alive, but that doesn't mean they are fit to work, unless their job is purely intellectual...e.g., lawyer, professor, etc.

Or, do we raise Social Security taxes? Or both?

No answer is ideal, but the one answer that we cannot choose is "f*ck 'em".
______

It was also not meant to be the sole source of income once someone reached that age.

Unfortunately, many people cannot afford to save a significant sum towards retirement and many other just choose not to do so.

It's a shiat sandwich. We raise the tax, we make it harder for those who cannot afford to save to make ends meet and harder for those who can afford to save to save a decent sum. We raise the retirement age, we're screwing the folks who cannot continue to work that long... some jobs just are not suitable for people in their 60s to still be doing.

We're just farked.


Well, it kind of WAS meant as a sole source of income, in the event that someone actually lived long enough to collect it. It was absolutely meant as a sort of safety net...not enough to live richly on, but enough to get by on. Basically, back then working class people didn't generally retire until just a couple of years before they kicked the bucket, if they even made it that far.

My take? Raise the reitrement age a bit...say, to 60. Then cut the f*ck out of defense spending.Of all our expenditures, the military is the most capable of absorbing the hit with minimal impact to operations. There is so much pork in there that it's disgusting. Move that money to Social Security. In my mind, how we treat the elderly is an indicator of a society as a whole.

That and/or crack the f*ck down on the medical industry.
 
2013-01-15 12:36:21 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: My take? Raise the reitrement age a bit...say, to 60.


Gah...meant "70".
 
2013-01-15 12:36:32 PM  

meanmutton: Fun fact: If you're making $13 an hour in the US, working full time, you're making significantly more than most families living in Italy (median household income: $24,000 USD a year) and are making about what the median wage earner in the UK is making ($26,500 USD a year).

In the US, we call it "low wage work". In much of Europe, they call it "middle class".


Well the Italians generally live with their parents until they're married. England has a thick net that attracts lots of poor immigrants. The Daily Fail articles about single moms living in expensive homes on the government's dime pop up on Fark routinely.
 
2013-01-15 12:38:01 PM  
get a second job
 
2013-01-15 12:42:56 PM  

I_Am_Weasel: ***snip***

/I'm an ideas weasel.


I'm on board.

meanmutton: Fun fact: If you're making $13 an hour in the US, working full time, you're making significantly more than most families living in Italy (median household income: $24,000 USD a year) and are making about what the median wage earner in the UK is making ($26,500 USD a year).

In the US, we call it "low wage work". In much of Europe, they call it "middle class".


Is that before or after you factor in cost of living as well as benefits that every citizen receives? Not snark, but I would assume that there are other contributing factors. Please feel free to strengthen your argument with relevant information.
 
2013-01-15 12:43:26 PM  

meanmutton: Fun fact: If you're making $13 an hour in the US, working full time, you're making significantly more than most families living in Italy (median household income: $24,000 USD a year) and are making about what the median wage earner in the UK is making ($26,500 USD a year).

In the US, we call it "low wage work". In much of Europe, they call it "middle class".


Are you just converting currency totals are are you talking about real income. Cost of living varies significantly between England and Italy, and considerably depending where in either of those you are living. Same here.

$24,000 a year in Boston is extremely little. $24,000 a year in Maine is fairly comfortable.

The total is rather relative.
 
2013-01-15 12:44:32 PM  
There is a huge issue that is being overlooked.

Few people diligently save part of their earnings. That's the key.
Budget my paycheck? Huh? Why?
I have to go buy the new iFu(k, 'cause my other one is almost a year old!
 
2013-01-15 12:45:26 PM  

Pinner: There is a huge issue that is being overlooked.

Few people diligently save part of their earnings. That's the key.
Budget my paycheck? Huh? Why?
I have to go buy the new iFu(k, 'cause my other one is almost a year old!


When you're making $13 an hour, you can't afford idevices, you farking twit.
 
2013-01-15 12:47:28 PM  

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: I'd kill to make $13/hour! Last job paid $10.50/hr. Thanks, decades of wage stagflation!


I looked at administrative assistant jobs in the Philadelphia area. Starting pay is $8-9 per hour, which (to me, anyway) is what you'd pay a high school student.
 
2013-01-15 12:47:41 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: My take? Raise the reitrement age a bit...say, to 60.

Gah...meant "70".


The main problem with that is that the increase in life expectancy is mostly for white collar folks.  Blue collar folks are still mostly dying earlier, and are less likely to have additional savings.  So in the case of 70 the number of people on disability will likely increase to take up the new wait period.
 
2013-01-15 12:48:12 PM  

Lexx: Pinner: There is a huge issue that is being overlooked.

Few people diligently save part of their earnings. That's the key.
Budget my paycheck? Huh? Why?
I have to go buy the new iFu(k, 'cause my other one is almost a year old!

When you're making $13 an hour, you can't afford idevices, you farking twit.


You know, you're right. They give you a free one with a two year contract to pay them so you can post to Fu(kbook from the bus.
 
2013-01-15 12:49:42 PM  

hej: I realize that nobody is going to live like a king on that money, but when did $13/hour become "low wage"?


I think part of the "low wage" criteria are age, education, experience, and location due to the cost of living. $13/hour is an excellent wage for a high school/college kid in most parts of the country.

The problem we're seeing, however, stems from the extremely competitive job market which places educated adults with experience in jobs which ordinarily might go to a less qualified applicant like a student. There is this invisible fine line between being overqualified or underqualified for a job.

/Someone please hire me. I'll walk that invisible line.
 
2013-01-15 12:50:59 PM  

Lexx: Pinner: There is a huge issue that is being overlooked.

Few people diligently save part of their earnings. That's the key.
Budget my paycheck? Huh? Why?
I have to go buy the new iFu(k, 'cause my other one is almost a year old!

When you're making $13 an hour, you can't afford idevices, you farking twit.


Well, again it depends on where you live. But the main idea is that if I only have 2-5% of my paycheck liquid after bills, transportation, food, rent, and general upkeep saving isn't really solvent if you want to remain contented (that money likely will go towards either vice purchases like alcohol or cigarettes or to entertainment costs to make life livable).

A lot of folks don't seem to realize that most folks who are in the working poor can't save 10% of their paycheck each pay period without likely cutting back on necessities. Minimum wage is not designed to be supportive of saving up in the bootstraps fashion folks suggest is available to all Americans. While some may sacrifice a lot to do so, it's not exactly a simple or even financially expedient thing if you want to enjoy any sort of quality of life at the lowest quartile.

Now where savings is a problem is about the average household income bracket, the 30k-80k crowd that has blown their money on quick purchases, financed products, and fraudulent loans. Unless you make just enough to qualify for these, which minimum wage folks typically don't, it's not even in the possibility of abusing.
 
2013-01-15 12:51:49 PM  

Lexx: Pinner: There is a huge issue that is being overlooked.

Few people diligently save part of their earnings. That's the key.
Budget my paycheck? Huh? Why?
I have to go buy the new iFu(k, 'cause my other one is almost a year old!

When you're making $13 an hour, you can't afford idevices, you farking twit.


There is a whole list of things you can't afford at that level but people still try to buy them anyway

1) Eating out
2) Having your own place
3) Alcohol and other recreational drugs
4) Marriage to a non-working spouse
5) Kids

Put at least 10% of your money away for retirement, preferably more
 
2013-01-15 12:53:24 PM  

CujoQuarrel: Lexx: Pinner: There is a huge issue that is being overlooked.

Few people diligently save part of their earnings. That's the key.
Budget my paycheck? Huh? Why?
I have to go buy the new iFu(k, 'cause my other one is almost a year old!

When you're making $13 an hour, you can't afford idevices, you farking twit.

There is a whole list of things you can't afford at that level but people still try to buy them anyway

1) Eating out
2) Having your own place
3) Alcohol and other recreational drugs
4) Marriage to a non-working spouse
5) Kids

Put at least 10% of your money away for retirement, preferably more


Doesn't matter how much you save, you'll never be able to afford retirement once they kill of SS and Medicare.
 
2013-01-15 12:56:01 PM  

meanmutton: Fun fact: If you're making $13 an hour in the US, working full time, you're making significantly more than most families living in Italy (median household income: $24,000 USD a year) and are making about what the median wage earner in the UK is making ($26,500 USD a year).

In the US, we call it "low wage work". In much of Europe, they call it "middle class".


Yes, and their health care is paid for.
We suck, yes we do.
 
kab
2013-01-15 12:57:22 PM  

hej: I realize that nobody is going to live like a king on that money, but when did $13/hour become "low wage"?


When you started having to pay your own bills.
 
2013-01-15 12:59:00 PM  

CujoQuarrel: Lexx: Pinner: There is a huge issue that is being overlooked.

Few people diligently save part of their earnings. That's the key.
Budget my paycheck? Huh? Why?
I have to go buy the new iFu(k, 'cause my other one is almost a year old!

When you're making $13 an hour, you can't afford idevices, you farking twit.

There is a whole list of things you can't afford at that level but people still try to buy them anyway

1) Eating out
2) Having your own place
3) Alcohol and other recreational drugs
4) Marriage to a non-working spouse
5) Kids

Put at least 10% of your money away for retirement, preferably more


10% of most lowest bracket's paychecks means not eating, not getting your laundry cleaned, not getting to work, or not being able to pay rent. While 10% savings is a great idea for those who can afford that this statement, particularly the part about kids and alcohol, reflects a massive lack of understanding of what life is like amongst the working poor.
 
2013-01-15 12:59:30 PM  

JollyMagistrate: A lot of folks don't seem to realize that most folks who are in the working poor can't save 10% of their paycheck each pay period without likely cutting back on necessities. Minimum wage is not designed to be supportive of saving up in the bootstraps fashion folks suggest is available to all Americans. While some may sacrifice a lot to do so, it's not exactly a simple or even financially expedient thing if you want to enjoy any sort of quality of life at the lowest quartile.


Agree.. depends where you live. Downtown, or outside of town? Do you call the bus "the shame train" or do you see it as a practical means to get from point a to point b? Also the "quality of life" statement is relative, of course. Dine out or cook at home? Processed food or fresh? Red box movies or the opening night at the iMax theatre?
People's expectations are too high, IMO.
 
2013-01-15 01:00:36 PM  

Lost Thought 00:
Doesn't matter how much you save, you'll never be able to afford retirement once they kill of SS and Medicare.


i2.ytimg.com

i see.. good point sir
 
2013-01-15 01:01:05 PM  
BA degree, just finished a seasonal temp job, full-time, loading trucks for $10 per hour.
No benefits.

YEAH, MERIKUH!
 
2013-01-15 01:02:16 PM  
/And if Sallie Mae thinks they're ever going to get their money out of me, they are sadly wildly delusional.
 
2013-01-15 01:03:28 PM  

meanmutton: Fun fact: If you're making $13 an hour in the US, working full time, you're making significantly more than most families living in Italy (median household income: $24,000 USD a year) and are making about what the median wage earner in the UK is making ($26,500 USD a year).

In the US, we call it "low wage work". In much of Europe, they call it "middle class".


Yes, and in India, 13 an hour would make you really rich. Now, you wouldn't have flush toilets and only 20 minutes of running water every other day- and probably no air conditioning- but hey! You are rich! Just don't get sick. The health care system ... is ... well ... not so good.
 
2013-01-15 01:04:53 PM  
Retirement Plan: A bottle of Jack and a cheap Walmart shotgun.
 
2013-01-15 01:13:20 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: BA degree, just finished a seasonal temp job, full-time, loading trucks for $10 per hour.
No benefits.

YEAH, MERIKUH!


America is on it's way to being a 3rd world country. The slightest health problem will put 75% of the nation in debt up to their eyeballs. People with degrees are expected to work for free after college for "the experience".

Mark Twain called it the Gilded Age. Somewhere along the line a fire will be lit under our collective asses, again, to stop this lunacy and start thinking about improving our standard of living, again.
 
2013-01-15 01:16:29 PM  

Pinner: JollyMagistrate: A lot of folks don't seem to realize that most folks who are in the working poor can't save 10% of their paycheck each pay period without likely cutting back on necessities. Minimum wage is not designed to be supportive of saving up in the bootstraps fashion folks suggest is available to all Americans. While some may sacrifice a lot to do so, it's not exactly a simple or even financially expedient thing if you want to enjoy any sort of quality of life at the lowest quartile.

Agree.. depends where you live. Downtown, or outside of town? Do you call the bus "the shame train" or do you see it as a practical means to get from point a to point b? Also the "quality of life" statement is relative, of course. Dine out or cook at home? Processed food or fresh? Red box movies or the opening night at the iMax theatre?
People's expectations are too high, IMO.


Well, it is easy to say that as a blanket suggestion but often isn't the case as a regular thing. The thing to remember is folks with little money are people also: they want to live and be happy just the same as folks making a lot more money. Only with fewer options and more limitations, it makes spending that tiny amount they could save on something that will bring proportionally more enjoyment than some nebulous, upper-middle class concept of retirement that would take often 50 years or more of savings just to reach enough to pay most mortuary costs... well it's not that intriguing over a television or the occasional splurge to bring a bit of happiness into their lives.

It's easy to look at the poor and say "well! they could do all of these things and not be poor!" but that really isn't true. Even with all the financial advice in the world, if you started out with a terrible, C quality school education and no possibility for college and only a part time job (and no familial safety net), you likely have not enough capital or capabilities by your circumstance to break out of poverty.
 
2013-01-15 01:21:39 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Social Security was conceived of in a time where people worked right up close to their meager life expectancy of 60 years or so. Many never even got to the point of collecting it. It was almost an insurance policy against the possibility of living too long. As that life expectancy grew, retirement age remained stagnant.


Not true at all. When SS was conceived life expectancy at age 65 was 12 years. Now it's 17 years. Sure, that's an increase but our productivity has improved vastly more than 50%. Also this:

www.pgpf.org

Raising the retirement age is just another way to fark the bottom 50%.
 
2013-01-15 01:30:30 PM  

JollyMagistrate: Well, it is easy to say that as a blanket suggestion but often isn't the case as a regular thing. The thing to remember is folks with little money are people also: they want to live and be happy just the same as folks making a lot more money. Only with fewer options and more limitations, it makes spending that tiny amount they could save on something that will bring proportionally more enjoyment than some nebulous, upper-middle class concept of retirement that would take often 50 years or more of savings just to reach enough to pay most mortuary costs... well it's not that intriguing over a television or the occasional splurge to bring a bit of happiness into their lives.


You're right. Everyone wants to be a rich American. Or, at least act like one. Splurge with your money! It makes you happy!
I'm gonna be rich some day! Just as soon as I can get rich!
Vote Republican!
 
2013-01-15 01:36:40 PM  
*Kisses my well funded, government backed defined benefit pension plan.*
 
2013-01-15 01:42:52 PM  

Felgraf: meanmutton: Fun fact: If you're making $13 an hour in the US, working full time, you're making significantly more than most families living in Italy (median household income: $24,000 USD a year) and are making about what the median wage earner in the UK is making ($26,500 USD a year).

In the US, we call it "low wage work". In much of Europe, they call it "middle class".

They also have much broader social safety nets. Are you suggesting we switch to Universal Healthcare, ala britain? I'd be all for that, personally...


That's not way off topic or anything, is it?

Fun fact: the US spends more per capital on government funded health care than all but three countries.
 
2013-01-15 01:43:33 PM  
Gee another hidden cost of non-Union workers that the rest of us have to pay for.

*sigh*

Privatize the Profits , Socialize the Expenses.
 
2013-01-15 01:44:44 PM  

ajgeek: If $13/hour is low wage, I must be slave labor.

/13 years in IT... $8.35/hour.
//Everyone wants their computer fixed for free.


Yeah, maybe it's time to look for a job somewhere else because that's not even remotely close to what other it professionals in the US make.
 
2013-01-15 01:46:30 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: BA degree, just finished a seasonal temp job, full-time, loading trucks for $10 per hour.
No benefits.

YEAH, MERIKUH!


What's wrong, man, your bootstraps broken?
 
2013-01-15 01:47:58 PM  

meanmutton: ajgeek: If $13/hour is low wage, I must be slave labor.

/13 years in IT... $8.35/hour.
//Everyone wants their computer fixed for free.

Yeah, maybe it's time to look for a job somewhere else because that's not even remotely close to what other it professionals in the US make.


I seriously doubt we're getting the whole story. 13 years in IT and still making just barely above minimum wage? No. Just no.
 
2013-01-15 01:47:59 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: akula: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Social Security was conceived of in a time where people worked right up close to their meager life expectancy of 60 years or so. Many never even got to the point of collecting it. It was almost an insurance policy against the possibility of living too long. As that life expectancy grew, retirement age remained stagnant.

So, what now? Do we raise the retirement age? The problem there is that though life expectancy has risen, quality of life for those additional years has not necessarily improved much. People are kept alive, but that doesn't mean they are fit to work, unless their job is purely intellectual...e.g., lawyer, professor, etc.

Or, do we raise Social Security taxes? Or both?

No answer is ideal, but the one answer that we cannot choose is "f*ck 'em".
______

It was also not meant to be the sole source of income once someone reached that age.

Unfortunately, many people cannot afford to save a significant sum towards retirement and many other just choose not to do so.

It's a shiat sandwich. We raise the tax, we make it harder for those who cannot afford to save to make ends meet and harder for those who can afford to save to save a decent sum. We raise the retirement age, we're screwing the folks who cannot continue to work that long... some jobs just are not suitable for people in their 60s to still be doing.

We're just farked.

Well, it kind of WAS meant as a sole source of income, in the event that someone actually lived long enough to collect it. It was absolutely meant as a sort of safety net...not enough to live richly on, but enough to get by on. Basically, back then working class people didn't generally retire until just a couple of years before they kicked the bucket, if they even made it that far.

My take? Raise the reitrement age a bit...say, to 60. Then cut the f*ck out of defense spending.Of all our expenditures, the military is the most capable of absorbing the hit with minimal impact to operations. There is ...


Full Social Security doesn't kick in until 65 at the earliest, 67 for anyone born after 1960.
 
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