POLICY: The future of retirement

In this book review of a couple of finance books in the New York Times, Neil Genzlinger is close enough to being right to remind us why we need to figure out the underlying problems in the health care system.

But as far as radical new ideas, the visionary approach would have been the blunt one: forget retirement planning. Hakuna matata. In the future, whether you have $15 million socked away or $1,500, nothing will matter – not food, not shelter, not golf, not active-senior communities – except health care benefits. Medical science, which already offers rebuilt knees and transplanted livers and faces, will soon offer new everything, but at a staggering cost. The Health Care Cabal will issue a one-page retirement plan: “In exchange for all your assets, including your children (and all their future earnings in perpetuity), the H.C.C. agrees to replace your parts as needed, while supplies last.” And everyone will sign it, because here in the have-it-all era, death is simply unacceptable.

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