The recession has been hard on most of us. A Brookings study found that American households lost $13 trillion of wealth—that's more than $40,000/person and about 15% of our net worth. With 15 million Americans jobless—and many of those out of work a long time—many of us are still using up our savings. As a result, many older Americans no longer have enough money to retire.
"Americans' attitudes toward retirement have clearly tracked the economy the last couple of years, and that seems to be the case in 2010," says Jack VanDerhei, the director of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). According to an EBRI study, 27% of American workers have essentially no savings at all. And the number of workers who say they are managing to save for retirement has dropped. At the same time, 84% of American workers—near a 20-year high—aren't sure they have enough money saved for their retirement. A similar percentage of those who have already retired aren't very confident they have enough money. It's not surprising, then, that many Americans have decided to delay their retirement for financial reasons. The survey found that 33% of Americans now expect to retire after the age of 65—compared to 24% who planned to wait that long in 2005.
It's another reminder—if any were needed—of the real cost of our prolonged recession. The financial crisis wiped out more than just paper assets. Most of us can afford less and have to work harder just to get by. And now it looks like many of us will have to work a while longer too.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.