Baby Boomers Put Off Retirement Plans

Special Feature

With home values plummeting and stock prices in free fall, many baby boomers are taking a second look at their retirement plans. Many who had hoped to quit the workforce in a few years are looking at several more years on the job. According to one survey, more than a quarter of workers over age 45 say they are postponing planes to retire. In addition to the losses caused by the implosion of the nation's financial system, say some experts, the Boomers' post-retirement plans were the victim of unrealistic projections about future returns.

With home values plummeting and stock prices in free fall, many baby boomers are taking a second look at their retirement plans. Many who had hoped to quit the workforce in a few years are looking at several more years on the job. According to one survey, more than a quarter of workers over age 45 say they are postponing planes to retire. In addition to the losses caused by the implosion of the nation’s financial system, say some experts, the Boomers’ post-retirement plans were the victim of unrealistic projections about future returns.

The dismal fact is that many Boomers haven’t been saving enough to retire comfortably, and most have retirement funds that fall far short of what they would need to finance 20 to 30 years of retirement. According to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, less than one-quarter of workers over age 55 have more than $250,000 socked away in savings and investments. Almost six out of 10 have less than $100,000 in their retirement piggy bank.

That said, some financial advisers point out that a few more years on job is not necessarily a bad thing financially. Those who work 2 or 3 years past the average retirement age of 63 can reap some fiscal rewards in the form of beefed-up 401(k) accounts and fatter monthly Social Security checks. And each additional year on the job is 1 less year that a retiree will need to depend on his or her retirement fund for income.