Average SS benefit is $ 1400 per month, before deducting about $ 80 for Medicare. Leave out the Medicare payment for this discussion. SS recipients recently received a .3 percent cost of living increase. This means the monthly payment would increase from $ 1400 a month to $ 1404.40 per month. That works out to a whopping increase of $ 50.40 for the year. Now the guvment tells us inflation is about 2%. So why didn't they increase SS 2%? Without going into detail, the bottom line is they can't afford to. Right now SS is paying out $ 75 billion more than they're taking in, and growing, and growing. For folks that depend solely on their SS income they're screwed, and it's going to get worse year after year with SS cost of living increases being a small fraction of the actual increase in real world inflation.
Then there are the folks that put money away for retirement. For the most part they can't get a decent return on their money in CD's or whatever (thanks to the Federal Reserve) so they find themselves herded into the stock market, which is a huuuge bubble. There are no fundamentals that justify the current DOW Jones average. Price to earnings ratios on stocks of around 14 to 1 (price to earnings ratio is the value of the stock versus company earnings, for example a stock at $ 20 per share, earnings at $ 2.00 per share equals a 10-1 price to earnings ratio) would be an indication of a solid stock. Today the price to earnings ratio is like 26 to 1! Not good. Haven't seen such a poor PE ratio since like just before the crash in 1929.
The stock market is rigged for big time speculators. They have computers plugged into the stock exchange. If, or should I say when, the stock market crashes their computers will ensure they are the first to hit the exit. Retail investors, that is everyday folks, will be late to the party. They'll want to sell, but there won't be any buyers at that point. Bottom line is retail investors will take it in the shorts, big time. To bring back a line from George Carlin, describing the plight of everyday folks in today's world. " It's a big party, and you aren't invited."