The Wall Street Journal has an article this morning revealing that the cohort of older workers that are set to retire in the next few years are the least financial prepared of any generation going back to the Great Depression.
The reason for this has nothing to do with the lax spending habits, poor credit card use, or any other victim-blaming reason that will be bandied about. No, the reason for this is the slow, relentless rigging of the financial system to over-reward the already rich and powerful at the expense of the people who do the actual work of making the country function. These are people who have sweated and toiled for years, and now when they have used themselves up, those who skimmed the cream of their efforts leaving them only the dregs will cut their benefits and say ‘if they wanted to retire in style, they should have worked harder.
Of course, the vast majority of those who will be saying that are not the people who worked hard to gain their fortunes. We are becoming more and more a society of dynastic wealth. The Koch, the Waltons, the Hiltons, etc. etc. did not build their fortunes with the sweat of their brows. They inherited it. There are outliers like Gates, Zuckerberg, and Buffet – billionaires who often still express some humanity by actually trying to help people or, like Buffet, saying that they don’t get taxed enough. Then there are those like Mercer who are so eager to join the billionaire club that they adopt a severe class warfare attitude – trying solidify their dynasties and prevent anyone else from truly achieving the American Dream.
The system has been rigged, and with the current group of kleptocrats in government – politicians who are either already part of the billionaire conspiracy or who really, really want to join – things are getting worse and worse. This realization is what led me to Bitcoin in the first place. It is no panacea, but it is a disruptive force that at once gives me an opportunity to gain the financial security I have been denied through the traditional means of the workplace and throw a wrench in the uber-wealthy/banker plans for the coming century.
As this next round of retirees find themselves trying to figure out how to make ends meet, small investments now in a risky, technical financial instrument known as Bitcoin may just be what pulls them brink of financial ruin. It’s a risk – but no more than the risk they took 40 years ago when employer retirement systems were flipped into scammy 401ks.
In full disclosure, I am invested as heavily as I can be comfortably. If Bitcoin crashes to 0, it will hurt. A lot. Not because I will be thrown out of my house, but because I have hopes and dreams tied to its success. I still have traditional savings and investments meant to provide a cushion should Bitcoin fail. And I would never, never do things like mortgage my house or use credit debt to by Bitcoin. But buying a little and squirreling away for 2, 3 or 10 years. Yeah, that I can do.
And if those who are anxiously watching retirement approach did the same, it might just be the thing that lets them have the retirement they always wanted.