And the victims of the Bust of 2008-10? They’ll do what the steelworkers and the bankers did as part of the cohorts of 1990-82 and 1980-82: they’ll search extensively for new jobs, retrain, relocate or, if they are over fifty, confront the possibility that they will never work again in their accustomed field, perhaps not work at all. They’ll reduce consumption, explore the social safety net, titrate their savings, move to their second homes or sell them, take part-time jobs on spec, or simply capitulate to a life of leisure sooner and with less income than they expected, and cultivate their interests.
This is an exaggerated version of a fate that, in varying degrees, awaits almost all retirees in Western Europe and North America in the next twenty years, as modest tax increases and benefit cuts become general. We should view with sympathy those who are in the van. A somewhat reduced retirement, sooner or later, will happen to us all.