Yesterday, the #1 emailed story in the NY Times finance section was Retirees Filling the Front Line in Market Fears and it shows a sad and shocking reality that seniors are facing. Older Americans with investments are among the hardest hit by the turmoil in the financial markets and for many it means they need to rethink retirement. “They’ve got to adjust their expectations of retirement,” said Martin Baily, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Surveys by AARP, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies and the Employee Benefit Research Institute have found that more workers nearing retirement age are putting off their plans to retire, curtailing contributions to their 401(k) accounts and borrowing from the accounts to pay for living expenses, including credit card and mortgage debt.
“This really highlights the new world of retirement,” said Richard Johnson, a principal research associate at the Urban Institute in Washington. “It’s a much riskier world for retirees, because people don’t have defined-benefit plans. They have pots of money and they have to worry about making it last.”
It’s definitely worth a read and it goes to show you how many people can benefit from the safety of a reverse mortgage.