“We’re not robots. We’re deteriorating every day organic beings… so there should be an expiration date… And I hope that I’m able to retire prior to that expiration date.”
Broken Eggs Awakens America to the Looming Retirement Crisis
What was once a life ending in happily ever after is now a life ending in working ever after. If retirement feels more like a fairy tale, it is in the feature-length documentary Broken Eggs. The film takes a rare look at one of the gravest social issues facing an aging America – the grim irony that even as we live longer, a growing number of Americans are falling short of a secure and comfortable retirement. And the prognosis is even worse for future generations.
“Broken Eggs blends comical animations with unforgettable portraits of everyday Americans reckoning with their inability to retire.”
Social Security is 20 years short of insolvency; pensions are largely underfunded and in sharp decline; and personal savings are at historic lows. Unlike any documentary of its kind, Broken Eggs blends comical animations with unforgettable portraits of everyday Americans reckoning with their inability to retire. Audiences of every generation will leave rattled and ready to put their Nest Egg back together again.
The hard-hitting documentary also features wide-ranging, high-profile interviews with economists, policy makers and financial experts, all who confront the undeniable, but often ignored facts that have put the American dream of retirement in jeopardy.
- Social Security is projected to be insolvent in 2033. In 1950, there were 16.5 workers for every Social Security beneficiary. Today, there are less than 3 workers paying in for each recipient.
- Company-sponsored pensions have been in rapid decline since the 1980s. Today, less than one out of every five private sector employees has a pension.
- As a group, American workers are estimated to be $6.6 TRILLION short of what they need to retire comfortably.
- 10,000 Baby boomers are reaching “retirement age” every day.
- 40 percent of Baby boomers expect to work “until they drop”.
- Almost half of American workers have less than $10,000 in savings.
- Americans who make it to age 65 today can expect to live roughly 18 years more. That’s six years longer than Americans who made it to age 65 in 1940.
What the experts say…
Economist Teresa Ghilarducci with The New School of Social Research has studied the savings and assets of future retirees. Her startling findings show that working Americans are actually “going backwards” – the first time since Social Security was passed in the throes of the Great Depression.
“Most Americans who were middle class when they were working all their life are going to be poor or near-poor retirees,” says Ghilarducci. “We’re going to have massive downward mobility. That you’re middle class all your life, and you now find yourself to be really in a chronic state of want and distress about finances. And it gets worse as you get older.”
And Social Security – what was meant to be a backstop to prevent people from falling into poverty in old age – is on the brink of insolvency by 2033, according to the program’s own administrators.
Social Security is not only bankrupt, it’s bankrupting future generations, says Laurence Kotlikoff, author of The Clash of Generations and a professor of economics at Boston University.
“We’re not measuring what we’re doing to our kids. We’re not talking about who’s going to pay for a different generation’s benefits,” Kotlikoff says.
“Most Americans who were middle class when they were working all their life are going to be poor or near-poor retirees,” says Ghilarducci
Turning America’s retirement prospects around is the chief responsibility of Mark Iwry, a senior adviser to the U.S. Treasury Secretary on retirement policy, and the country’s likely architect for retirement savings of the future. Iwry is determined to change America’s saving habits through automatic enrollments in individual retirement accounts or “auto-IRAs” for those who currently don’t have access to employer-sponsored plans.
“We can make it easier still for people to save,” Iwry says, “and thereby get many more of our fellow citizens on a path to having adequate retirement security. Right now we’re not on that path. Too many people are just not saving enough.”
Broken Eggs fields a team of veteran documentary filmmakers directed by former CNN Producer Emily Probst Miller. The award-winning crew also includes Writer Al Crim, Senior Producer Heather O’Neill, Principal Cinematographer Jon Boal, Videographer and Editor Andrew Moore, Editor/Producer Dave Timko, and Animator and Illustrator Joe Peery. Executive Producer Chad Parks, a retirement guru and serial entrepreneur, and Producer Sylvia Flores spearheaded the project with a road trip across America to hear from everyday Americans. The duo then tapped Probst Miller to lend the film’s weighty subject her journalist lens.
“The facts speak for themselves,” says Probst Miller, “but it’s the real-life stories of the people you’ll meet in the film who will make viewers laugh, cry, and ultimately, take a good hard look at their Nest Egg.”