For most of this millennium, I have been outspoken about the majority of American households living a lifestyle above what their finances truly can support. Increasing debt loads, and trying to keep up with the Joneses, have been a driving force to a retirement and aging crisis, one that nobody in the financial services industry will even discuss because it is bad for business.

Traditional financial planning is a badly flawed process, and many retirement plans will fail to reach their goals. Why? For starters, the industry spends most of its time, chasing increasing net worth, and little time on the key to financial security – managing cash flow properly.

I am very proud of our team and the alternative to traditional financial planning process we provide to our clientele. Now more than ever, recognition of this dire situation for many needs to be addressed properly – but I won’t hold my breath for the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” crowd on Wall Street to come to terms with it.

Hear what some of our clients have said about the services we provided them.


“The retirement crisis originates from our current financial struggles. As of November 2023, 62 percent of U.S. consumers are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Household credit card debt is at a record high of $1.08 trillion. Many Americans do not have a sufficient emergency fund, and 22 percent have none at all.

Consequently, many Americans are also not on track for their retirement. 47 percent of Americans are at risk of being unprepared for retirement, and 28 percent of Americans have no retirement savings at all. The Social Security program is projected to deplete its reserves in 2034, which will reduce retiree benefits to 77 percent of the original amount. While the cost of retirement is persistently increasing, our savings are not keeping up.”

Unfortunately, the financial situation of younger Americans is even worse. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that millennials “had less median and mean wealth in 2016 than any similarly aged cohort between 1989 and 2007.” In fact, 70 percent of millennials are living paycheck-to-paycheck, which is more than any other generation according to the study. The verdict is clear — America is in a retirement crisis, and it’s not getting any better for younger generations.”  Jason Seo, The Daily Princetonian 2/5/24

As America’s population of seniors grows, affordable long-term care is increasingly hard to find.

Why it matters: Nearly 70% of older adults will need long-term care services, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Medicare doesn’t cover these services, and Medicaid often has long wait lists for at-home support, said Samara Scheckler, a research associate.
“The cost of daily assistance at home is out of reach for most,” Scheckler said, “and so is assisted living, which bundles housing and care together.”
By the numbers: 13% of adults 75+ in U.S. metro areas living alone can afford assisted living without diving into assets, per the Center.

14% can afford a daily visit from a home health aide along with their housing costs.
For context, more than 40% of Americans 65 and older live alone. When considering seniors over 80, that share jumps to nearly 60%.

Zoom out: There’s also a growing shortage of care providers. While most people prefer in-home care — and it’s cheaper for states to fund — not everyone can receive care at home, said Priya Chidambaram of KFF.

Many seniors require the resources and medical equipment at larger facilities.
This year, every U.S. state reported a shortage of care workers — and 43 of them saw permanent closures of care facilities, such as group homes and assisted living centers, according to a KFF survey.

The U.S. has at least 600 fewer nursing homes than It did six years ago, according to a recent Wall Street Journal analysis.
The big picture: Nursing homes bore the brunt of the pandemic, leading many mentally and physically burned-out staffers to quit.

The pandemic added fuel to that as more families pulled their loved ones out of nursing homes to limit exposure to COVID-19, the Journal reports.
Many facilities are struggling to stay afloat. 81% of them would need to hire additional workers to meet nursing staff requirements from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed in September, KFF noted.

“Staffing shortages in nursing homes are hugely affecting those who need institutional care,” Chidambaram said.
Between the lines: U.S. life expectancy is on the rise. With that, care needs to last longer.

A vast majority of older adults live in homes that they rent or own. The need for services and support — like housework, bathing, or medicating — is expected to increase, according to the report.
Baby boomers had fewer children than older generations, making family help increasingly limited for aging adults, Scheckler said.
The bottom line: The combined costs of housing and daily care are beyond most people’s means, said Jennifer Molinsky, project director for Harvard’s Housing an Aging Society program.

“It’s a wonderful thing that the older population is growing overall and people are living longer than a generation ago,” she said. “But the supports that people need to stay in the community, stay in their home are really expensive and hard to secure.” April Rubin, Erica Pandey, Axios 12/3/23

From Confessions of a Former Wall Street Whiz Kid, Chapter 13, Retirement: A Man-Made Myth