(BPT) - One of the longest economic expansions in American history may have come to an end in the face of a global pandemic. The economy today brings to mind for many the lessons of 2008-2009, during the Great Recession when millions of Americans on the doorstep of retirement watched helplessly as a lifetime of savings vanished, leaving them to wonder how they would be able to buy food, let alone take vacations or pursue leisure activities.
Meanwhile, Americans are living longer, which is a wonderful thing. Yet, it comes with challenges. The Great Recession and the current coronavirus pandemic uncovered the risk inherent in historical reliance on accumulating savings and “safe” withdrawal rates for meeting expenses in retirement without the backstop of a guaranteed retirement income base beyond Social Security. The risk is even greater when you consider that life expectancies are near record highs according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The average millennial has more than a 2-in-5 chance to live to age 90.