The writing on the wall: America’s retirement crisis by the numbers

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Thousands of Americans are at risk of going broke in retirement, and it’s only going to get worse.

These days, overwhelming student loan debt and the uncertain future of Social Security’s solvency garner most of the attention, but there’s another equally severe financial crisis looming on the horizon for millions of Americans. Thousands of people retire every day, and many don’t have the savings they need to last the rest of their lives.

When that well runs dry, they’ll need to lean on their family members to support them or seek government assistance to cover their basic living expenses. It’s a fate thousands of Americans are already experiencing, and based on data from the latest Northwestern Mutual Planning & Progress survey, tens of thousands more are set to join them in the coming decades.

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There’s a retirement crisis in America where most will be unable to afford a ‘solid life’

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The three “legs” of the retirement “stool” (private savings, pensions, and Social Security) are all in dire shape.

At Vanguard, the median 401(k) account value for an investor age 65 and older is a measly $58,035.

After looking at the data, the Saint Louis Fed concluded: “It could be worrisome that, for many American households, the total balances of their retirement accounts may not be sufficient to ensure a solid life in retirement.”

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Living in an Age of Hyper-Awareness

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Futurist Thomas Frey:  It’s amazing how a single newscast can set the world on fire.

The very second Standard & Poor’s announced they had downgraded the U.S. Credit rating, communications systems around the world began to boil. Reaction time was critical and those who could react the quickest were able to position the negative news into something less negative, perhaps even a positive.

 

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Global Employment Crisis Will Not Recover Until 2015 Creating Social Unrest

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Trash bins burn in central Barcelona during the general strike.

Global employment will not recover to pre-crisis levels until 2015 if current policies are pursued, creating social tension, the International Labour Organisation has warned.  The United Nations work agency said it was putting back by two years from 2013 its previous assessment of the time needed to create the 22 million jobs still needed to regain the pre-crisis level – 14 million in rich countries and 8 million in developing states.

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States Cut Waste by Streamlining and Reorganizing Amid Budget Crisis

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 States facing tough times during budget crisis are streamlining and reorganizing operation

States facing tough times are eliminating commissions, merging departments and centralizing operations to stave off budget cuts and tax hikes.  The moves represent the most sweeping attempts in at least a generation to cut waste in the day-to-day operations of state government, according to government experts.

 

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Abandoned Detroit Home Encased In Ice

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An Icey New Idea

An abandoned home has been encased in ice in an effort to draw attention to the housing crisis in the US.

Gregory Holm, a photographer, and Matthew Radune, a New York architect, picked a house in Detroit which had been slated for demolition, from the state’s land bank.

In return, they agreed to pay the back taxes on another foreclosed house so that a Detroit woman could move in. Gregory Holm said he wanted the project to be looked at as a “tool for inspiration”.

(video after jump…)

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Male Dropouts 47 Times More Likely To Be Incarcerated Than Graduate Peers

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On any given day, nearly 23 percent of all young Black men ages 16 to 24 who have dropped out of high school are in jail, prison, or a juvenile justice institution in America, according to a disturbing new national report released today on the dire economic and social consequences of not graduating from high school.

 

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India’s Thirst for Groundwater Raising Global Sea Levels

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India is sucking 54 trillion liters of water out of the ground every year

India’s thirst for groundwater is threatening a major water crisis, and adding to global sea level rise, says a report.
Virendra Tiwari, from the National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad, says that satellite measurements have shown that northern India is sucking some 54 trillion litres of water out of the ground every year.
He and his colleagues used gravity data from the GRACE satellite to monitor the loss of continental mass around the world since 2002.
In their study report, the researchers highlight the fact that regions where water is being removed from the ground have less mass, and, therefore, exert a smaller gravitational pull on the satellite.
As regards their observations, Tiwari’s team revealed that groundwater under northern India and its surroundings was being extracted exceptionally fast.
The researchers’ calculations suggest that an average of 54 cubic kilometres, enough to fill more than 21 million Olympic swimming pools was lost every year between 2002 and 2008.
According to them, boreholes in the region show the water table is dropping by around 10 centimetres a year, reports New Scientist magazine.
John Wahr, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, considers agriculture to be the prime culprit.
The researchers reckon that severe water shortages may hit the 600 million people living in the region in the next few years, if the trend is not reversed soon.
The team also note in their report that the “lost” water does not just disappear, most of it runs into the oceans.
They believe that it might be pushing up global sea levels by as much as 0.16 millimetres each year, which is 5 per cent of total sea level rise.
A research article on the findings has been published in Geophysical Research Letters.

India’s thirst for groundwater is threatening a major water crisis, and adding to global sea level rise, says a report.  (Pics)

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