Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Pondering Greece and Puerto Rico: we all need to be able to keep working until at least age 70

The situations in Greece and Puerto Rico still continue to have implications for retirees, even in the U.S. How much can they affect the stability of portfolios?
The latest news is that “Europe” gave Greece until Sunday to come up with a “plan” or else Greece will have to start printing its own currency.  There simply won’t be any more euros in circulation in the country. This sounds like the New York City financial crisis in 1975: "Ford to City: Drop dead!"

And Vox has a good brief analysis of the Puerto Rican crisis here.  One interesting point is that as people leave the island, those that remain carry a larger portion of the debt.
The Washington Times has chastised Greece for its leftist programs, and a retirement age of 60. 
However, the Left criticizes the whole idea of capital and depending on debts related to social services being paid.  Almost any portfolio today has some investments in companies or governments that may not be sustainable.
In the meantime, it seems to me, in retrospect, that the whole idea of “early retirement”, so often pimped by major employers for cost cutting since the 80s, has become unsustainable.  I stopped my IT career at 58 at the end of 2001, as a result of 9/11, mother’s situation, and even my “online reputation” as a pundit.  Really, we need to keep working until at least 70. I guess I don't practice what I preach because of the "It's free" problem. 
“Techies” like me are supposed (after age 60) to go out and become pimps for lifestyle services on social media.  That isn’t sustainable either.  Employers need to think about how to keep associate real-job skills up for decades at a time.  Newer tech companies like Facebook and Google, while run by “youth”, probably do understand this.
So then, think again about what is going on overseas (Greece isn’t the only one) and in our own backyard.

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