The Pew Charitable Trusts announced last week that younger Americans face downward economic mobility in retirement. The report estimates that Generation Xers, those born between 1966 and 1975, will be able to replace just half their pre-retirement income once they stop working.
Most financial planners urge people to plan for at least 70 percent as much income when they retire as they earned when they were working.
Michael A. Fletcher of The Washington Post wrote that the report "adds to the growing concern about retirement security as policymakers face financial pressure to trim programs such as Social Security and Medicare that form the mainstay of financial support for the nation's rapidly aging population."
It's hard to interpret whether the study, done by John Gist, a professor of public policy at George Washington University, represents an argument for preserving those programs as is or for recasting them to be sustainable.
Certainly, paying for the benefits promised to 77 million Baby Boomers will weigh heavily on the much smaller generations that will follow them.
Trimming the amount of money younger people are required to plow into government entitlement programs would greatly improve their ability to save themselves.