David Frum

02.06.138:30 AM ET

50-Somethings Face a Grim Retirement

What will the next wave of retirement look like? In USA Today, Duncan Black depicts a grim future for today's 50-somethings. The great borrowing binge of the 2000s - and the collapse of wealth after 2008 - has left the soon-to-retire in precarious economic positions:

According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the median household retirement account balance in 2010 for workers between the ages of 55-64 was just $120,000. For people expecting to retire at around age 65, and to live for another 15 years or more, this will provide for only a trivial supplement to Social Security benefits.

And that's for people who actually have a retirement account of some kind. A third of households do not. For these people, their sole retirement income, aside from potential aid from friends and family, comes from Social Security, for which the current average monthly benefit is $1,230.