Charley Ellis: When you start to look at the data you can’t help but be really upset. How many people, good, God-fearing, hard-working American people, do not have large enough savings to be able to have anything like secure retirement years? They’re going to have a terribly difficult time.
There are a couple of things they can do, and they really ought to think about doing all of them. One is to save more. Even if you’re in your 60s, saving more can make a real difference. Second thing, you ought to think seriously about working longer. I’m 75 and I’m still working full time, 70, 80 hours a week. I’m having a lot of fun doing it. I recognize, the work I’m doing I find interesting. Many people don’t have that privilege. But everybody ought to take a look at, should they be working longer so they can accumulate savings?
And then everybody ought to take a look at another factor. Is there any way that they can reduce the level of spending that they’ve gotten used to? Sometimes you can really do quite a lot to reduce your spending level. But people need to pay attention to the fact that each is on his own more than we ever have had in this country, or at least more than we’ve had in the last 100 years.
This is a major change. It could be dealt with, some, by taking action now. If no action is taken people are going to leave themselves exposed to a horrible experience.