Quote from DManAZRN
401K is better than a company pension. If the company goes belly up, no pension. Did'nt we see this somewhere recently? What's the street with the big wall?
I thought the new retirement age is now like 72 or something....
My plan is to die right as I run out of money, or just burn out and fade away into poverty and become a patient who lives in the hospital! Look ma, free food, drugs and housing, complements of the taxpayers!
I'm finally getting out what I paid in!
Not necessarily true -- there is a federal agency, The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), similar to the FDIC, that protects pensions. If a company with a pension plan "goes belly up" that agency steps up and covers the pensions, up to an established maximum amount per employee. That ceiling figure means that a lot of higher-paid executives end up getting quite a bit less than they would have, but the ceiling is high enough that "regular" employees, like most RNs, would not take a loss. It has been in the press over the last few years that that agency is really struggling (and Congress has had to find more money for it) because so many companies have been going bankrupt (some of them primarily for the purpose of getting out from under their pension responsibilities), many more than anyone ever planned on the agency having to cover. 401Ks (and 403bs) are a clever way for companies to shift the responsibility, cost, and risk of retirement away from themselves and onto the employee. My personal IRA and 403b accounts have lost ~30% of their value over the last couple years -- that is definitely not "better" than a traditional defined-benefit pension.
There is no official "retirement age" -- one can retire whenever one chooses and is financially able. I assume you're referring to the age at which one becomes eligible for Social Security. That figure is gradually being increased over time for younger persons, as part of efforts to improve SS's financial situation. 65 was originally fixed as the eligibility point for Social Security because that was the average life expectancy at that time
. Now that people are living so much longer, it makes sense to raise the eligibility age. You get an annual statement from the Social Security Administration, and that statement includes at what age you, specifically, become eligible for SS benefits.