March 13th, 2014
06:15 PM ET

What I'm reading: America's looming retirement crisis

By Fareed Zakaria

“[F]irst, a bit of background on the real debt crisis in this country, the one that we haven’t talked about seriously yet, let alone come to terms with – the retirement crisis,” writes Rana Foroohar in TIME. “The key stat you need to know: the median household retirement savings for all workers between the ages of 55 to 64 is $120,000. That works out to about $625 a month. A full one-third of the workforce aged 45 to 54 has saved nothing at all for retirement. At a time when social security benefits are being paired back, public pensions are being restructured en mass, and housing growth is flat (only the top 10 markets in the country are predicted to have any significant price increases in the next 15 years), this is a looming iceberg of a crisis.”


“A diplomatic approach to Iran would not sit well with many in the Syrian opposition,” argues Jonathan Stevenson in the New York Times. “But they also have to face facts: With or without Iran, the United States and its allies will remain wary of any political deal unless the moderate opposition substantially purges its ranks of jihadists, who are infiltrating Syria in increasing numbers.”

“Even partial success in these endeavors would make Russia – which is genuinely concerned about transnational terrorism – more inclined to urge Mr. Assad toward a power-sharing deal, and possibly a graceful exit. Beyond that, it would address the regime’s purported sticking point, namely the opposition’s perceived subordination of ‘terrorism’ to political transition.

“Iran, of course, would prefer the status quo. So what, realistically, could we expect out of this approach?”


“Thirty one years ago, in the midst of growing East-West tensions in Europe, a Russian scientist named Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov saved the world from nuclear annihilation,” writes Erol Araf in the National Post. Here’s how:

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Joseph McCarthy

    Here's another reason we sorely need to quit bullying other countries and turn our attention to problems here at home. We need to quit throwing money at the Pentagon and work to head off the upcoming retirement crisis. These right-wing politicians in Washington will eventually bring this country to it's knees as long as there are idiots out there to vote them back into office over and over again!

    March 13, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
    • David Polewka

      In order to have peace, we have to allow
      people the freedom to speak & trade & travel,
      we have to allow free elections, we must have
      separation of powers, to keep government in check,
      we must legalize some drugs, to reduce the black market,
      and we must increase the death rate, by stopping some immunization,

      March 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
  2. Allan Kinsman

    The upcoming retirement crisis is more of an intellectual political crisis. Spending money through a lobby deciding what is important. It might not be the citizens.

    March 13, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
  3. The GOP Solution

    The GOP Solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. And don't forget the GOP all time favorites.................TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!! And GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!!!!

    March 14, 2014 at 11:27 am |
  4. ✠RZ✠

    It the future generations that will inherited government debt. The future is now. And our generation is unemployed and broke. Now go print money.

    March 15, 2014 at 10:38 am |
  5. Allan Kinsman

    Congress has the checkbook balance the budget. Elections must promote canidates which can solve problems in some other way than making their friends wealthy. The voters have narrowed their understandings to such a degree they have voted those which do not have a greater sense of what the common best interests of all Americans rather than those which finance their reelections. Politics is the problem, not social security, not women's rights. Wake up America what is is not working. Go to the poles and elect an indepentent honest person to replace those which now are sitting in Washington.

    March 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
  6. fitzthecat

    First learn to spell "pared" if you want your words to be taken seriously.

    March 17, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
  7. stephen gower

    To get an idea of how much you need to save, check out the "" retirement calculator. Otherwise you're just guessing.

    March 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
  8. cheap board games

    I do trust all of the concepts you have presented in your post. They're really convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are too quick for starters. May just you please lengthen them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.

    April 13, 2018 at 1:32 pm |

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