Retirement or Bust

Baby boomers are facing more
uncertainty than previous
generations.

by Lynn G. Coleman

Obviously, retirement is an important topic for
baby boomers. Some of us want to retire early, some are just hanging on until we can afford to
retire, and some of us will never retire until we drop over dead.

Most boomers fall into three distinct retirement profiles that I will refer to as “well off,”
“scraping by” and “up the creek.”

Well off: This group includes people who held good jobs with excellent retirement benefits,
those who inherited money and those who saved or made wise investments. They plan to retire
to a lifestyle similar to the one they had pre-retirement. Depending on the source, only one-
third to one-half of Americans over age 50 are in this position (see AARP’s
Who is Ready for
Retirement? and the FDIC Outlook). If you're not sure whether you are ready to retire or not,
take this Kiplinger
quiz.

Scraping by: This group contains folks who worked hard at low- to moderate-income jobs all
their lives, but couldn’t afford to save much. Their retirement income will come mainly from
Social Security, savings and the equity in their homes (keep reading to see how
that’s going).

Up the creek: This group will have nothing but Social Security to live on and will have to
continue working or get some form of government assistance — low-income housing, food
stamps, etc.

                                                                                                
Read more >
Our Finances
The Over-50 Resource
Useful Links

Social Security
retirement
calculators,
including the earnings
penalty.

Yahoo’s retirement
planning tools.

Several links and
resources at
Retirement Living.

Best places in the U.S.
to retire.

Retire overseas on a
shoestring budget.

Collecting Social
Security while living
outside U.S.

Money magazine
retirement calculators
& resources.

Early retirement and
the health insurance
gap.
Photo credit: bradipo