RETIREMENT JARTwo new reports out this week put the recession’s effects on seniors into perspective.  The National Retirement Risk Index  shows that a majority of American households are at high risk of not having enough money in retirement. The 51% finding is the highest at-risk percentage since the index’ creation in 2006.   The report concludes: 
“Ensuring retirement security for an aging popula­tion is one of the most compelling challenges facing the nation. Yet the National Retirement Risk Index shows that in 2009 half of today’s households will not have enough retirement income to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living, even if they work to age 65, which is above the current average retire­ment age. Even if the stock market should bounce back, the housing bubble is unlikely to reappear. And as defined benefit plans fade in an environment where total pension coverage remains stagnant, Social Security’s Full Retirement Age moves to 67, and life expectancy increases, the outlook will get worse over time. The NRRI clearly indicates that this nation needs more retirement saving.”
And yet, working longer isn’t as easy as it sounds for the over 60 employee.  The New York Times sums up the unemployment figures for seniors: 
“...there are more Americans 65 and older in the job market today than at any time in history, 6.6 million, compared with 4.1 million in 2001.  Less well known, though, is that nearly half a million workers 65 and older want to work but cannot find a job — more than five times the level early this decade and this group’s highest unemployment level since the Great Depression.  The situation is made more dire because of numerous recent trends: many people over 65 have lost their jobs as seniority protections have weakened, and like most other Americans, a higher percentage of them took on debt than in previous generations. “
The National Committee is proud to be a part of a coalition of groups working to create a universal, secure, and adequate retirement system to supplement Social Security.  Retirement USA  is leading a national dialogue about developing a new system for ensuring that all American workers have reliable income when they retire.