Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler has reported to a legislative committee that we're on a fast track to disaster. Wheeler's no dummy, and assuming that his numbers are accurate - which seems all too likely - he's right:
Currently, he said, more than half of Oregon's adults have less than $25,000 set aside to cover the costs of retirement. One quarter have less than $1,000 available.
Now, it'd be nice to see an age breakdown on that, because the term, "adult", is one of those squishy little things that nobody clearly defines. Are you an "adult" if you're 18? 21? 26? Nobody really knows because it varies so much: you can go to war and kill people if you're 18, but you can't drink or smoke unless you're 21 (ha). And under Obamacare, you're a "child" until you hit age 27.
But just for giggles, let's assume that Wheeler's talking about those age 30 or above, because that clears all of the "child" definitions out of the way, and it's really when people these days start entering the workforce in significant numbers. If 25% of those folks have under $1k set aside for retirement, that's bad. Heck, I had over $25k at that age.
And if over half have less than $25k, that's really bad. What are these folks doing? I mean, if you're forty years old and you don't have at least a hundred thousand set aside, you're doing it wrong. And frankly, you need more than that.
We have entire generations now that don't get it. Wheeler's solution is to establish a state-run retirement system similar to PERS that would be opt-out, rather than opt-in: they'll take money from you, just as they do for So-So-Security and FICA, and stash that cash in a managed retirement account for you, because evidently you're too damned stupid to do it yourself. And again, assuming Wheeler's figures are correct, that's exactly the case.
And that also explains why Oregon voters keep electing Democratics - over half of them are too damned dumb to manage their own affairs without government "help".