By George Ure and Gaye Levy, Contributors
Time to take on one of the ugliest questions an American worker can ask: “Do I have to work until death?”
Sadly, for an increasing number of Americans, the idea of retirement at age 62 to a life rich with adventures and the once-held American dream of “Golden Years” has turned into cardboard, or worse.
We’ve identified a large number of factors which are in play and a discussion of each helps to put “Working to Death” into perspective.
- Mass consumption Home Improvement Loans and HELOCs.
- The soaring divorce rates of recent years.
- Inter-government “investment” of Social Security.
- Long-term inflation by the Federal Reserve.
- Soaring healthcare costs.
- Serial market declines.
- Pension fund bankruptcies and shortages.
Let’s address these in turn, starting with home improvement loans and HELOCs – the once darlings of the financial “services” industry standing for Home Equity Lines of Credit.
At their peak, during the go-go years of the 1990s and into beginning of the end of the housing bubble in 2007, the number of people “borrowing home equity” for current expenses, such as education, a new SUV, or to meet unexpected cash flow demands, skyrocketed.