However, you can access the research that forms the main conclusions in the article from the Centre for Retirement Research.
The Economist views about the US reflect the argument that we have in the UK that gyrates between a view that the retired are living in the lap of luxury and scrounging on the backs of the young through to deep despair about their lack of financial preparedness for their post-work life.
Of course the explanation is it all depends who you are talking about, in what timescale and what assumptions you make for how the future will unfold.
Let me make it really simple. Most people in their late 50s and 60s are not in that good a shape for their post life work. As each age cohort comes along it will get worse.
That said, there is a significant number of older people, as their will be in each age cohort, who are going to be spending large amounts of money for the foreseeable future. The secret for maketers is to not spend much time on the poor oldies but to focus on those with the high disposable income. Simple really. Dick Stroud