The three-legged stool of retirement is the metaphor we chose for our documentary Broken Eggs Film — The Looming Retirement Crisis in America.
The three legs are:
- The Pension Plan
- Social Security
- Personal Savings through 401(k)’s and IRA’s
The idea is that in combination, an individual will have diversified and balanced sources of income in their retirement years.
But what we found is that our metaphor is flawed. It implies equal weighting for each of these sources of income and we found that It does not apply to the majority.
For people in their 70’s and 60’s, the three-legged stool is probably accurate. But for every decade of the ages, people in their 50’s, 40’s, 30’s and 20’s, those legs begin to disappear.
Pensions are the first to go to the point where they do not exist.
Social Security is next, shrinking as a percentage of retirement income needed, to the point where for some, it is not to be planned on.
Finally, personal savings remains, and has become for many the largest source of income replacement.
From three-legged stool to a pogo stick.
And for those who don’t or can’t save, forget about even a pogo stick.
The question is where is all of this headed? What does this mean to us as a society? When will we wake up and see the storm ahead? What can each of the age groups do to take personal responsibility for themselves?
We have been trying to make a difference for more than 13 years, beating this drum, trying to get your attention.
Are you listening?