You don’t have to examine America’s retirement safety net too closely to realize it has massive holes in it. Close to 60 percent of Americans have less than $25,000 in household savings, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, and 31 percent of retirees have less than $1,000. Meanwhile, financial advisers recommend having about 12 times your current salary saved to retire comfortably.
After a devastating cycle of bubble and bust, the U.S. housing sector is on the road to recovery. New homes are being built at the fastest rate in years and prices are increasing across the country. Foreclosures are down and the number of “underwater” mortgages has declined by almost 12 percent since the peak at the end of 2011. Even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance companies in conservatorship since 2008, are reporting record profits.
The U.S. housing recovery is a fragile one and should be spurred by reducing the role of government in the mortgage-finance system, said Robert Shiller, a professor at Yale University and co-creator of the S&P/Case- Shiller index of property values.