“The past three decades have been difficult for middle-class Americans. Wages have stagnated, and jobs have become less secure. Employee contributions to workplace health insurance and retirement plans have reduced take-home pay. Skyrocketing health care costs and college tuitions have further strained family budgets. The Great Recession and ongoing financial crisis, which eliminated millions of jobs and wiped out trillions of dollars in household wealth, have tightened the squeeze on middle-class families and cast a shadow on the future retirement prospects of todays workers. The Urban Institute uses statistical analyses to project various measures of the future retirement prospects of workers ages 25 to 54 in 2012, with a particular focus on middle-class workers. Middle class is defined as those whose household income falls in the middle third of the income distribution. The model compares the retirement prospects of current workers (future retirees) to current retirees and compares the prospects of various subgroups of future retirees by age cohort, income level, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, and gender/marital status. Because of the critical role of escalating healthcare costs, the model also compares retirement prospects before and after accounting for projected increases in medical out-of pocket (MOOP) costs.”
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