In an opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, Charles R. Schwab, chairman of Charles Schwab Corp., spells out the grave danger that the near-zero fed funds rate poses for senior citizens. With their purchasing power effectively eviscerated by 76%, retirees are “financially starving,” Schwab says.

The Schwab founder explains that even with the inflation rate effectively at zero, an investment in a one-year CD today pays a mere 1.3%. For a $100,000 investment, that’s a paltry $1,300 a year, down a painful 76% from the still small, but comparatively far more generous, $5,400 a retiree would have earned in 2006 when the Federal Reserve’s target rate was 5.4%.

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