Retirement Guide 2011

Pursuing retirement in an uncertain time

Retire - if you dare

Retirement - something taken for granted by Americans going back half a century - is no sure thing anymore. Not after the Great Recession, years of high unemployment, the collapse of housing prices, and stocks still below historic peaks.

Many people now picture themselves, like it or not, working far into old age - if they even are able. Their battle cry could be "Retire, if you dare!"

In the old days, the 1990s, baby boomers said they were better prepared than their parents for retirement. Now, they're not so sure.

But are those boomers more likely to have a secure retirement than the younger generations they now seem pitted against in a scramble for old-age benefits? Columnist Maria Panaritis thinks so.

Oh, and what about real estate, whose sale after years of appreciation was supposed to provide one of the financial legs on the retirement chair? That chair is looking rickety - if not broken for many homeowners - real estate writer Alan J. Heavens says.

Nevertheless, countless individuals and families are doing what they can with what they have in pursuit of retirement in frightening and uncertain times.

As Mike Armstrong advises, you'll be in better shape if you plan.  The stories and columns here will help point the way.

- Reid Kanaley



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