Losses in the stock market, plunging home values, and the weakening economy are devastating the retirement plans and options of baby boomers.
The article “Baby Boomers Scramble to Reassess Future: What to Do When Your Retirement Disappears Before Your Eyes” on ConsumerAffairs.com does a good job in laying out how the country’s economic woes are impacting boomers. It offers these facts and figures:
- The stock market lost 27 percent of its value between September 30, 2007 and September 30, 2008, a roughly $7 trillion drop. Many [baby boomers] have their retirement savings in stock portfolios, which in some cases have lost nearly 50 percent of their value in the last few months – much of it in the last few weeks.
- The average home value fell 3.9 percent in just a little over a year. Boomers who happen to live in one of 20 metro areas that enjoyed the highest price appreciation have been even harder hit, with prices declining more than 16 percent over the same period.
- A significant [economic] downturn could lead to downsizing, or of firms going out of business altogether. New York City is bracing for the loss of as many as 160,000 because of the collapse of many banks, brokerage firms, and hedge funds.
What does the article advise boomers to do?
Stay in the labor force longer to boost retirement income. However, ConsumerAffairs.com points out that this may be tough with layoffs mounting and companies shutting down their operations.