But if you DO have retirement savings invested with companies like Vanguard and Fidelity and the other companies where many of us have some 401(k) money stashed, you may not want to look at your balances right now...because the Dow-Jones Industrial Average is down 430 points this week and the S&P 500 is now in negative territory for the year.
Kind of makes you wish there was some kind of retirement vehicle you could rely on, doesn't it? Something where you wouldn't even feel the money taken out of your check, but when you retire you'd be guaranteed a certain amount every month so that you could do things like keep a roof over your head and a few boxes of Kraft mac 'n' cheez in the house? There's something like that here in the US, but if the Republicans have their way, it might not be around in its current form for much longer:
Social Security has long been considered the third rail in American politics — those who touch it risk getting a huge shock. And yet on Capitol Hill, there's a growing drumbeat from Republicans to revise the rules of the nation's premier retirement program as part of a larger push to rein in deficit spending. For them, it's an article of faith that Social Security's days are numbered. They want Democrats — especially President Obama — to join their cause, and share whatever political pain may come with it.
Republicans also believe the very best time to fix Social Security is now, during a time of divided government when both Democrats and Republicans can share ownership of any changes. Last week on the Senate floor, freshman Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky demanded an overhaul of Social Security and acknowledged the danger.
In case you missed Blue Girl's January analysis of the Social Security non-crisis, I suggest that you go read it now. Because for those of us fortunate (or childless) enough to have been able to put some money away, so-called "investments" are taking a beating.
But hey....God forbid we should ask billionaires to do without tax cuts.