About half of American workers do not have access to a 401(k) program through their employer. The current savings rate is hovering at 5%. The average amount of student loan debt is $35,000. Most households carry $15,000 in credit card debt from month to month. So what does this all mean? The fact is that it is just plain expensive to live in America. The cost of living, the costs of college tuition, housing prices, and rising food costs coupled with stagnant wages are creating a dangerous situation for our collective futures.
What's at stake:
So far throughout this election season, both Trump and Clinton have been pretty quiet about retirement.
Here's what we know about each candidate's stance on retirement:
Social Security, healthcare, and affordable care for those in need are all moving parts in the machine of retirement. Hillary Clinton has been overwhelmingly supportive of programs that expand care for the elderly, particularly elderly women. One of Clinton's top economic advisers, Teresa Ghilarducci, is very vocal about her campaign to replace our current voluntary 401(k) program with a mandated government retirement program.
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Despite tons of research, we were unable to find any information at all on Donald Trump's retirement stance beyond his sweeping statements about "creating more jobs" for Americans.
The bottom line?
No one is looking after your future but you. Take actions now that will set you up for whatever your vision of retirement looks like. Set as much money aside as you can and do it often. With any luck, the Department of Labor's Fiduciary Rule will not be blocked by Congress. Pay off your debts. Buy a home you can afford even if you're out of work for a few months. Keep your expenses in line with your earnings.
Almost 90% of Congress is up for re-election this year. To really, truly enact change you must vote on a local level. No president can pass a bill without approval from the House and Senate. Take a look at where your representatives stand on the issues here.