- Created on 18 September 2013
It looks like many people will see out their days in the office.
A new global study finds nearly one in eight workers expect they will never be able to afford to retire fully. In the U.S. and U.K, the figures are even worse.
The report by HSBC paints a gloomy picture of sustained financial hardship and new working habits despite the world economy returning to health.
"Generating an adequate income in retirement remains a major challenge for most people, given the financial conditions created by the global economic downturn," HSBC head of wealth management Simon Williams said.
High levels of unemployment, low wage growth and depressed savings rates have pushed retirement out of reach for many in the global workforce. Ageing populations have compounded the problem as retirement funds have to cover a longer period.
Throughout the Western world people still hope to retire around the same age their parents did, despite indications they may live much longer.
The report surveyed 16,000 people in 15 countries around the world, assessing their retirement and savings outlook.
On average, people expect to retire for 18 years but have only saved enough for 10 years.
Workers in the U.K. and the U.S. face the bleakest future. In both countries about one in five say they will never be able to give up work completely. The prospects are brighter in Asia, with less than half that number in China indicating they're likely to work forever.
For those who do make it to retirement, their twilight years might not be as comfortable as they had hoped. Almost half of current retirees surveyed said they haven't been able to realize their plans - perhaps a European holiday or finally buying that boat - because they have less money to live on than they had expected.
And it's not just grim news for wannabe retirees. Children hoping to inherit could also be disappointed, with over one third of people reporting they won't leave a legacy.
Increasing costs of higher education and housing has driven many parents to provide financial assistance to children during their lifetime -- proving yet another drain on retirement coffers.
- Created on 16 September 2013
- Created on 13 September 2013
Gov. Jerry Brown and the leaders of the California state Legislature announced strong support Wednesday for a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour.
"The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs," Brown said in a statement. "This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy."
Assemblyman Luis Alejo's (D-Salinas) bill, AB 10, would raise the minimum wage in California from $8.00 an hour to $10.00 an hour. The bill passed the state Assembly in May and is expected to be voted on in the Senate this week.
UPDATE: The state Senate approved the minimum wage increase on Thursday. It is expected to win final approval from the Assembly later Thursday or Friday, before it goes to the governor. Brown has said he will sign the bill into law.
Alejo introduced similar bills in 2011 and 2012 that both died because of opposition by Republican members and business lobbyists, who called the proposal a "job killer."
Alejo's chief of staff, Marva Diaz, told The Huffington Post that this bill is stronger because the two leaders of the Legislature have been added as co-authors: Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles).
Perez disputed the claim that raising the minimum wage would reduce jobs. "The real winner here is the economy. A $10 hour minimum wage boosts earnings by $4,000 a year and will put $2.6 billion dollars back into the hands of workers," Pérez said in a statement. "This is money that will be spent at grocery stores, on school supplies and invested in education, and that ultimately strengthens the recovery and ensures California's job market continues growing faster than the rest of the nation."
California's minimum wage is among the highest in the country, although it hasn't been raised since 2008. AB 10 would raise the minimum wage in two separate one-dollar increments: from $8 per hour today to $9 per hour, effective July 1, 2014, and from $9 per hour to $10 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2016.
Last month, fast food and other low-wage workers in LA, San Francisco and dozens of cities across the country took to the streets to call for a national minimum wage of $15 per hour.
In his State of the Union address in February, President Barack Obama called for the national minimum wage to be raised to $9 an hour. The next month, House Republicans voted unanimously against a bill by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over the next two years.
According to a study by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would pull more than half of the nation's working poor out of poverty.
- Created on 13 September 2013
United Airlines said on Friday that it will honor the tickets it accidentally gave away for free.
The decision is good news for people who snapped up the tickets on Thursday after United listed airfares at $0. Many customers got tickets for $5 or $10, paying only the cost of the Sept. 11 security fee.
The mistake was an especially good deal for any passengers who bought tickets for travel within the next week. For instance, a Houston-to-Washington Dulles flight for next weekend would have cost $877, according to United's website on Friday.
Airlines have posted so-called mistake fares before. They generally decide on a case-by-case basis whether they'll honor the ticket. On Friday, United Continental Holdings Inc. said it was honoring the tickets "based on these specific circumstances." On Thursday, United said there was an error in filing the fares to its computer system.
United would not say how many tickets it accidentally gave away, or how much the mistake cost. The wrong fares were available on its website for a few hours on Thursday. It eventually shut down bookings on the website until it could fix the problem.
Some passengers bought their tickets for flights on Friday, and then immediately checked in online and printed their boarding passes, figuring that would give them their best chance of being able to use their ticket.
Mike Nehmer bought a ticket for him and his wife to fly from Houston to San Francisco on Friday. But he chickened out after a United agent told him that his ticket would be rejected at the gate. He ended up changing his ticket to December.
"I decided it wasn't in my best interest to show up and be denied at the gate," he said. "I have a pretty unhappy wife, too."