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Market Braces for a Financial Boomer Bust

Economic prognosticators are keeping close watch on the first class
of baby boomers, many of whom will begin collecting Social Security
benefits in 2008. To finance their post-retirement lives and plan ahead
for their later years in assisted living or other housing for seniors,
financial experts predict boomers may start selling off stocks and
bonds. Plus, once boomers retire, the United States will have only two
employees for every one person in retirement—compared with four today.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the
Congressional Budget Office projects that Social Security spending
could grow from about 4 to 6 percent of the U.S. economy in the next 25
years, while Medicare and Medicaid could grow from about 4 to 8
percent. By 2050, these programs for seniors are likely to consume a
large portion of the economy—forcing working Americans to face a
possible 50 percent increase in their taxes.

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