For Your Entertainment (FYE)
“More than any other population on Earth, Americans are on the move. Because of factors such as employment, climate or retirement, 14 percent of the U.S. population bounces from place to place every year.”
Populations are relocating to coastal areas (with the major exception that inhabitants for the first time are taking flight from California’s prohibitively priced seaboard)
People are moving out from major metropolises to smaller cities
The general migration trend in the U.S. now is eastward rather than westward
“”People are moving away from the major cities to smaller cities — cities of 1 million to 2 million — and away from cities of 4 million-plus,” he said. “In a sense, the exurbs are what’s happening. What you’ll see is that folks are moving out of the city cores into the periphery. They’re willing to move away from the big cities into the medium-sized metropolitan areas.””
“Policy as a tool can only go so far. Everyone is chasing the same people to move and the same businesses to create jobs. But having a balanced approach to defining good government services, to defining reasonable tax rates, to not being biased against the types of business that come to your community, that is one of the best perspectives in terms of trying to nurture community growth.”
““The slumping stock market, falling housing prices, and weakening economy have serious repercussions for the 94 million Americans age 50 and older who are approaching retirement or already retired,” said Richard W. Johnson, PhD, principal research associate at the Urban Institute. “Retirement accounts lost about 18 percent of their value between September 2007 and September 2008, and housing prices fell from 4 to 20 percent between January 2007 and May 2008, depending on where seniors live.”
He added that the clock is ticking for people trying to salvage their fiscal futures.
“Older Americans have little time to recoup the values of their homes, 401(k) plans, and individual retirement accounts — all important parts of their retirement nest eggs. More and more older Americans are working to bolster their retirement incomes, but the rising unemployment rate, now 6.5 percent, limits their prospects,” Johnson said.”
““The current financial crisis has involved a loss in the U.S. of perhaps $15 trillion and a world-wide loss several-fold larger; these are numbers that vary widely from week to week. Among those most affected are those who were planning on spending down their assets in retirement or as they move toward retirement,” he said.
Steuerle also noted that these problems raise a set of related questions.
“Who should government help if it can only cover a tiny portion of the losses? Did the bubble market mislead people as to what was affordable? What are the consequences for the nation of saving very little when times were good? Can we set out on a course now to avoid some of these problems in the future?” he asked.”
“An unprecedented upturn in the number of older Americans who delay retirement is likely to continue and even accelerate over the next two decades, a trend that should help ease the financial challenges facing both Social Security and Medicare, according to a new RAND Corporation study.”
“Older Americans have experienced huge, negative financial shifts that now make it more difficult to enter retirement with sustainable economic security, a new study finds. Seventy-eight percent of all senior households are financially vulnerable when it comes to their ability to meet essential expenses and cover projected costs over their lifetimes.”
“Particular areas of vulnerability include:
Housing: 45% of senior households spend nearly a third of their income on housing. 31% either rent or have no home equity to draw on in tough times
Healthcare: 40% of senior households spend more than 15% of their income on healthcare.
Budgets: 1 in 3 senior households has no money whatsoever left over after meeting essential expenses.
Assets: More than half of all senior households (54 percent) do not have sufficient financial resources to meet median projected expenses based on their current financial net worth, projected Social Security, and pension incomes. ”
“In Los Angeles County, being disabled can cost a year’s income. That’s because the annual cost of in-home care services for seniors living alone is now $319 more than this group’s median income of $17,029.”
“New findings from researchers at New York Medical College suggest that when Social Security benefits are improved, people over the age of 65 benefit most, and may even live longer.”
“”The political discourse around Social Security focuses exclusively on the system’s long-range financial problems rather than on the benefits of improved health and reduced poverty,” said Peter Arno, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and professor and director of the doctoral program in the Department of Health Policy and Management of the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College. “If Social Security is put on the chopping block, lawmakers will jeopardize the most important safety net for America’s elderly.”