Monday, December 12, 2005

Prof. J. Siegel: What happens when Baby Boomers retire?

You've probably read about the coming crisis in Social Security. As the Baby Boomers retire, there'll be a big rise in the ratio of U.S. retirees to U.S. workers.

If nothing changes, said Prof. Jeremy Siegel, "You'll live longer, but you'll have to work much longer." Retirement age must rise to 73 by the year 2050 to keep the system funded. Siegel made his comments as part of a presentation to the Boston Security Analysts Society.

Of course, things do change, so Siegel ran computer models testing how retirement age might be affected by:
  1. Increased productivity growth in the U.S.
  2. Increased immigration into the U.S.
  3. High rates of GDP growth in the developing world, which would allow people in those countries to produce goods for the U.S. and buy assets from the U.S.
According to his computer calculations, number 3 would have the greatest impact on the retirement age. It would lower the retirement age in his scenario from 73 to 68.

To learn more about Siegel's ideas, visit his website.

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