Letters to the Editor

Letter: Fed needs to help retirees

Why doesn’t the Federal Reserve Board care about the 96 million Americans over age 55? The Fed has two statutory mandates: Controlling unemployment and inflation. I took economic courses during my undergrad and MBA degrees. So, I understand why the Fed lowered interest rates 10 years ago. But why did the Fed, before COVID-19, lower the interest rate to almost zero? Apparently, the most likely reason for this historically low interest rate is because the Fed cares more about millionaires, billionaires and the stock market than current and future retirees. Today, America has millions of single Baby Boomer women, 96 million persons over age 55 and 70 million retirees. Many retirees are veterans like the 9 million military personnel who served during the Vietnam era and the 3 million men and women who did a tour in Vietnam, including myself. Then there are the veterans who served in Korea, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Today’s retirees should be called “The Screwed Generation.” They paid a 10% to 18% mortgage rate and now they earn less than 1% on their CDs. Are these retirees and future retirees willing to risk their IRAs and retirement money in the unpredictable stock market? No way. I play on two age 55-plus softball teams, and nobody wants to invest in the stock market. A 1% increase in the interest rate would give retirees, according to Transamerica, an additional median monthly income of $143. This additional money would enable retirees to better afford medical care, prescriptions, vitamins, groceries, a new computer, visiting their grandchildren, and other needed essentials. Please contact the Fed and demand an interest rate increase to make life easier for 96 million Americans. Go to: https://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/ContactUs/feedback.aspx Then click Board Members.

Robert Williams