It appears that all American business models have been updated to include “Pester the customer as much as possible in an effort to get the sucker to buy more.” Temerity Funds [not its real name], my 401(k) “provider,” has been following this path for several years now, and it amazes them that I have a balance in the middle five figures, and not the low seven figures they think I’ll need to survive the rigors of retirement. And they’d probably be right if I were going to live to 118 or so; but I’m pretty sure that’s not happening.
What is happening is this: assuming Social Security doesn’t go down the drain right away, I’ll pull somewhere around $1800 a month in retirement income. Which isn’t a lot. Then again, the austerity budget I’d been on for the past five years left me with somewhere around $1800 a month to live on. It’s uncomfortably tight, but it is doable.
And there’s an X factor from my past. Last week I got a card from my employer in the late Seventies and early Eighties, who apparently had lost track of me and needed me to verify my existence for pension purposes. I knew this existed, but as yet I hadn’t done any work on tracing it, and I figured at best it might be $100 a month. No, actually, it’s $250, assuming retirement (as Social Security does) at age 66. Things just got slightly looser.