Richard Fisher, top dog at the Dallas Fed, says that the present value of the cost of Medicare, the new drug benefit, and Social Security is $99.2 TRILLION, or about 10 times the funded national debt (see the counters on this page):
The saddest thing about this figure is that it is completely unnecessary. American's would save more if our financial securities firms, markets, and regulations were not so completely screwed up.
Personal story: Today, I closed a small 401k account with Ameriprise Financial. Why? Because they were sucking me dry with fees (to which they tacked on an extra fiddy bucks today). After taxes, I will actually lost money on this "investment." No wonder Americans spend every dime they make, borrow to the hilt, and hope the government will bail them out when they get old and sick.