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Knowing What It Takes to Retire Today

            THESIS STATEMENT: Many of today's younger workers ignore messages that saving early will benefit them greatly in the future. Those who do may one day regret their indifference to saving for retirement. Retirement may not be in the immediate reality for our Generation "X-, but it is a stage in their lives that they must prepare for (Orstrander).
             I. Health Care Issues.
             a. Managed Care and HMO vs. Cost containment.
             b. Effect in Quality of Life.
             II. The vehicles for Retirement.
             a. Passive Savings.
             b. IRAs.
             c. 401(k)/1165(e) Plans.
             III. The Role of The Stock Market.
             a. Wise Investments.
             b. Risks.
             c. Strategies.
             Life expectancy in the US has increased dramatically since the turn of the last century. About the only thing more dramatic in increase over the same 100 years is the cost of living. That cost will continue to rise of course, but no one knows where to expect health care to go. The current pattern of managed care and health maintenance organizations came about because of spiraling costs that threatened to surpass the national debt if not checked in some way. Costs are rising much more slowly now, but they are still rising.
             One of the benefits of the type of health care we have in the US is that people are living much longer and with a better quality of life than in the past. Today's retirees are far less likely to take to a rocking chair; they can be expected to take to the road instead, or perhaps enmesh themselves in community or church involvement. Not only do longer life and increased health care costs call for the need for greater retirement income, but a lifestyle not involving a rocking chair also is more costly in itself. Topping off all of it, some believe that Social Security will not exist by the time the boomers finish with it. Even if it persists for the last of the baby boomers, it may not survive for Generation X.
             In short, saving for retirement has never been more important than it is today.

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