The one upside to the fact that I still don’t have any retirement plan in place is the fact that I didn’t lose any money from it over the past year:
The stock market’s prolonged tumble has wiped out about $2 trillion in Americans’ retirement savings in the past 15 months, a blow that could force workers to stay on the job longer than planned, rein in spending and possibly further stall an economy reliant on consumer dollars, Congress’s top budget analyst said yesterday.
For many Americans, pensions and 401(k) plans are their only form of savings. The dwindling of these assets—about a 20 percent decline overall—is another setback just as many people are grappling with higher gas and food prices, more credit card debt, declining home values and less access to loans.
“Unlike Wall Street executives, American families don’t have a golden parachute to fall back on,” said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor. “It’s clear that Americans’ retirement security may be one of the greatest casualties of this financial crisis.”
This is one of the ways that the meltdown is going to affect the average American taxpayer and it’s all thanks to the deregulation policies of the Bush Administration.
As for myself, I keep meaning to start a 401K “real soon now” but never get around to it. Perhaps this downturn in the market is a good time to start thinking about it again. Once it appears things are on an upswing might be a good time to get one rolling in hopes it’ll make the 401K grow faster. That’s probably simplistic thinking on my part though as I’ve never had a good head for investment.