Readers Speak, Ready to March

Some columns hit a nerve. I was quickly deluged with emails from people “Ready to March” after the publication of my recent column on how low interest rates may cut the long term retirement income of seniors by as much as 50 percent.

  • We have scrimped and saved for 42 years to prepare for retirement, but it looks bleak for us. — R.K.
  • Everyone is making money on my money except me. —A.B.
  • It is incredible to me that all of the people who have done the right thing by investing and saving and staying out of debt are footing the bill for the Wall Street bandits. —P.B.
  • That great sucking sound is not only jobs leaving the country but 401(k) funds emptying out to Wall Street. — G.C.
  • After 20 years with local company my job was outsourced to India 3 months ago. I'm ready to march. — G.R.
  • I am one of the "Little People" who is fed up with the insidious ties between our government and big corporations, big banks, and big trading firms. At this rate, my retirement income will only finance a walk to Washington. — S.D.
  • I'll be 65 next month and plan to retire next year. I hope that I will feel comfortable next year when the time comes to retire. I am maxing out my 401(k), but the net value is dropping faster than my contributions are building it up. — B.S.
  • I never expected to have so little return for my savings. The top management of the big banks should be in jail, but instead they are getting huge bonuses. In addition, they are killing the economy because they will not lend to small business. I'm ready to march. — B.B.
  • Your article confirmed what was becoming apparent to me. I have warned my wife that I don’t see any way around working until I am physically and mentally unable to do so. Fortunately, I am self-employed, so no one will tell me that I must retire at a certain time. — M.G.
  • After diligently planning to be financially independent and retire early, twenty plus years of planning and investing is turned to mush in the matter of two years while those primarily responsible get a "get out of jail" card, "pass go" and collect their $200 (I thought the Monopoly reference fitting) in spite of the fact that they were responsible for the mess in the first place. — R.B.
  • Not only are low interest rates helping banks, they are enabling the government to borrow money for next to nothing, which is like a hidden tax on savers. Also, the deficit is understated because the government is borrowing at unreasonably low rates. I am amazed that more writers and politicians have not jumped on this issue because many people don’t get it. — T.H.
  • Washington does not mention the burden they have placed on the senior citizens. I hope this will be an issue during the election. Where is the AARP? — J.S.
  • My CD matured in June. The interest was 4.8 percent. Now it is less than 1 percent. I have to spend my capital now and am afraid I will run out of money before I die. All I have as income is my Social Security of $1,200 and $280 pension, which is dwindling every year due to increased supplemental medical insurance deducted from it. — M.E.
  • We are Solvent Seniors, but we did not want to whine about our concerns about our future. We have felt fortunate to be in our position until the last 10 years. What a surprise! It is going to be a mess if Fed policy continues. People need to be rewarded for planning, saving, and postponing consumption so they might provide for themselves, not everyone else, in their retirement. While I believe these are exceptional times, the remedies being implemented now are ridiculous. — G.M.

The message here is very simple. Those in Washington still see themselves as Democrats or Republicans. They haven’t grasped that many voters see both parties as simply “Part of the Problem” or “Ineffective.”