June 14th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

How has the economy affected your plans to retire?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The United States is actually in worse financial shape than Greece and other debt-laden European countries when you add in all of the money owed to cover future Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security obligations. That's what bond fund manager Bill Gross of Pimco told CNBC yesterday.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/06/14/art.retirement.jpg caption=""]
But talk of reforming these so-called entitlement programs terrifies most Americans, especially after many saw their life savings evaporate during the Great Recession and the value of the home plummet.

According to a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a whole lot of Americans have not saved enough for retirement and are going to have to rely largely on Social Security for their incomes as they age. The study also predicts that many Americans will have to work longer than planned - and many may end up working well into their 70s and 80s to afford retirement.

It's a depressing thought whether you're approaching retirement age or just planning to one day be able to afford it.

Americans are also living longer, and as a result the cost and quality of the health care available to them becomes more important. Seventy-two percent of non-retired Americans surveyed say the cost of health care will determine when they retire, according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index.

We likely have seen the end of the gold watch, generous pension and company-provided health care for life that was a part of many of the previous generation's retirement. The golden years for many are shaping up to be more like brass.

Here’s my question to you: How has the economy affected your plans to retire?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lisa in Shelton, Connecticut:
What plans to retire? Most who look at their post-George W. Bush 401(k)s understand that "retirement" will have to include some sort of additional income stream albeit far less technical or stressful than our career was. "Welcome to Wal-mart."

Bonnie in New Jersey:
If you mean do I plan on working until I drop dead on the job? Then, yes. (which after my Social Security and Medicare gets taken from me may be much sooner than anticipated.)

Ed in Texas:
The low interest rate environment prevents me from earning enough on my savings to retire. First it was the dot com bust, then the housing collapse. Jack, please tell me what bubble I should invest in next.

Bill in New Mexico:
I feel sorry for the future Americans wishing to retire. I think America may be moving into an era where only the top one percent will be able to retire in comfort.

Tom in Atlanta:
Jack I am retired, and it really scares me. Truth is, today I have converted 75% of my portfolio into cash. I am going to mitigate my risk by sitting this out for a year or two (or three) until I can see signs of fiscal responsibility in our government and stability in the markets. I'm scared as hell.

Nate in North Carolina:
As a young American who recently worked in H.R. during the U.S. Census, I employed many people who were desperate for a job. They were mainly citizens close to retiring or forced to retire due to their age. I am beginning to learn that I need to start now to take care of my physical health.

Lori in Pennsylvania:
I'm just trying to find a job. Retirement is the last thing on my mind.

Already has, Jack. The wife and I planned to travel after I retired 5 years ago. Really can't do that now with the cost of gas almost $4 a gallon and the fear that Paul Ryan and the Republicans may steal our Social Security and Medicare if they take over the White House, Senate and Congress in 2012. We will need all our savings just for food, housing and healthcare costs if that happens. There will be no money for "seeing the USA in the Chevrolet."

Filed under: Longevity
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    That's an easy question Jack. As a result of the past three years I cannot afford to retire, my 401k is gone, health insurance premiums have almost doubled and gas is through the roof. As all costs have risen my disposable income strinks and there is nothing to turn to in savings. Think i am the Lone Ranger here? Not hardly. Retirement? not happening.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  2. Willda Ritter, Arvada, CO

    I retired three years ago. Each month since then I have seen my SS check buy less and less. If inflation keeps up will my children ever get to retire? Let alone my grandchildren.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  3. Marilyn Bassano

    I worry more about what else might be taken away from us as we get older. I've come to the realization there are no guarantees in life unless someone wants you to believe there is. Pensions went out with loyalty to a company. Now that we have globalization and the sharing of goods and services with other countries we had better get used to changes, especially sudden ones, in our lives.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  4. pat in Michigan

    It is not so much the economy as it is the govt. both state and federal. At everyturn some govt wants to either tax or eliminate my medical coverage or tax me because I don't make 2 million dollars a year.Gee .Thanks Mr Obama,Snyder,Boener,Paul and Newt.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  5. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: That is simple to answer--I'm still working at 65!

    June 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  6. Sylvia

    Most Definitely!! Physicians with small practices have to plan and put back for their owm retirement. With the increased pressures of a poor economy, lousy reimbursement by third party payers and the demands to upgrade to EHR (Electronic Medical Records) ... We chose to return to the military to ride out the storm. By so doing we have eliminated a lot of overhead cost ... And are again eligible for his military retirement. Tradeoff ... He is presently practicing medicine in Afghanistan. I'd say we are affected.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  7. thomas tyskiewicz

    hello jack, I am 66 and will continue to work as long as I stay on the right side of the grass.

    tom, forest hills, pa

    June 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  8. JENNA

    How has the economy affected your plans to retire?


    The shambles of this economy was brought to us by the GOP. They have done everything in their power to keep Americans unemployed, to allow banks to keep their money and not lend it out to small businesses or Americans to buy housing, and they ensured that BIG Insurance/BIG Pharma (their base) was protected in what they coined "Obamacare" forcing Americans to get their insurance at a much hgher rate. I am still waiting to see a job created by the GOP as they promised while campaigning in 2010.

    When Wall Street failed, taking much of out retirement with it, they bailed out Wall Street and the bankers but NOT Americans. Many of us will have to work well into our "Golden Years" to make up for their greed and losses.

    I don't understand why those guys aren't in jail and why we are using the same failed regulators as we used under GW Bush.

    Me, if I am lucky to find another job (5 years unemployed now) I will work until they carry me out in a pine box.

    Roseville CA

    June 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  9. John from Alabama

    Jack: I am retired. I did not plan to retire, but my body just sort gave out. Most people think retirement is a time to travel, but gas is to high, roads are being worked on, and I do not like being sexually assaulted in airports. The economy will always effect retirement, because during a recession retired citizens can not afford the big discounts on anything, and when the econmy is good there are no discounts. It's a catch 22, Jack.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  10. Tony from Southport

    ABSOLUTELY. Sixty Eight years old and still working to make ends meet. No COLI in Social Security, and gloom and doom on the horizon for seniors if Obama gets his way. Stripping 500 billion dollars from Medicare and telling us he's concerned for seniors? Retire Mr. O and let us worry about ourselves under a Republican leader.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  11. barbara in nc

    2007 Jack.

    2 years before President Obama, my job was out-sourced.

    Also about 5 years before I intended to retire, but too old and too qualified to be retrained for anything else.

    Thanks W.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  12. Loren

    Maybe I read the writing on the wall a long time ago, but I never planned on retiring when I was 65 anyway, so while the economy has been an issue for me (I was laid off during the banking consolidation in the early 00's and took almost five years to get a comparable position), I am optimistic that the economy will slowly recover and I will be able to retire someday.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  13. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    I agree with Fareed Zakaria. Republicans got us into this mess not only through deregulating the financial sector, but through exporting our jobs. The middle class can't pay taxes on money it doesn't earn. America will get out of the ditch when the middle class is earning a living wage.

    I'm thinking about starting a business in hopes it might create some jobs. The president is a pretty smart guy, so if he believes in us, maybe we should as too.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  14. Kevin in CA

    Retire ... yes, when the lid gets nailed shut.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  15. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, your question reminds me of the fella who was retired from military service and working as a greeter at Walmart. He was good at the job but had trouble getting to work on time so the boss called him in and asked, "When you were in the military and came in late back then like you do here now, what did they say to you?" "Well", he replied, "It usually went something like this - Good morning Admiral, can I get you a cup of coffee sir?"

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    June 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  16. Kevo in New Mexico

    It has slowed down my plans for retirement and I will have to work a few more years to build on my retirement. THANK YOU !!

    June 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  17. Jane (Minnesota)

    I really doesn't look as good as it did a couple of years ago and I have retirement accounts.

    I imagine that I will be working longer than I had originally planned to. I guess it depends in how much of my midlle class wealth gets upwardly distributed, Jack.

    If Paul Ryan's Medicare plan everwould pass I'm under 55 so I basically would have to fend for myself in private insurance market with pre-existing high blood pressure and high eye pressure I take medication for.

    I hope more people than I am are looking realistically at it instead of listening to the Lobby "Spin Doctors" distorting the reality of it and vote to protect the everyday Americans.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  18. Ray in Knoxville

    Retire, Jack? I lost my house and my savings the Bush recession. I am a few years over 50 and working again, but I don't foresee building up a nest egg large enough to enable me to retire at 65.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  19. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I am already retired with a wife to retire in two years. The economy has already affected the way we live. With the high cost of gas and food leaves us little money to travel now and in the future. We're trying to save every nickel we can because of the unknown. Back before president Bush took office we had so many plans and smiles on our faces planning on what we will do when we retire. Now those smiles have turned to worry wrinkles about what might lie ahead for us.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  20. Brad, Portland, OR

    What plans to retire?

    I'm going to have to work until I die.

    The stock market has performed so poorly over the last 10 years, you would actually have a better rate of return if you'd put your money in a money market account at your bank instead of the stock market.

    At least you wouldn't have lost your principal.

    But you can't save enough to retire with such pitiful rates of return.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  21. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack I never expected Social Security and Medicare to provide for me in my old age. We all pay into these systems our entire working lives hoping a morsel of it will be left when we retire At the rate our government is taking money out of Social Security and spending along with raising the retirement age i doubt many will ever live to collect it. It is kind of like the shell game where the government has put a pea under 3 shells and they swap the shells around. The pea is seldom under a shell. If you look in the hands of our government you will find that pea. If it was seldom really on the table to begin with then they almost never have to pay out.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  22. Brad, Portland, OR

    The stock market's been lousy for over a decade, and wiped out half my nest egg.

    Good thing the politicians would never be stupid enough to try to take away Social Security and Medicare.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  23. Steve in Michigan

    Yes. I retired early because I didn't have a job.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  24. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    No, but it looks like I'll be eating cat food in a cardboard box after they privatize Social Security. At least I'll have VA medical care thanks to my time in the US Army unlike those weenies in congress who never served our country. They say they support the troops to get elected and then cut funding for our deserving Veterans once they are in office!

    June 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  25. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack retirement is a fairy tale in America. You work all your life paying into a system that may or may not be solvent once you reach that magical number of years that the government keeps changing. If you are lucky enough to reach retirement age and can still remember your name you will not be able to afford the medication you need just to stay alive. Your pass times will consist of shopping for the correct size incontinent pads and how many condiments you can cram into your pockets at the corner restaurant who have already given you a criminal trespass warning for soaking your teeth in your water glass while other customers are eating. They do have the warmest water in town in their bathroom and that is where you wash your socks and underwear out on Sundays twice a month if they need it or not..

    June 14, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  26. Ed from California

    I got out in '06! Right in the nick of time. If, I had waited to go in '08 or beyond, I'd be still working!! Dread the thought.Even w/a Teamster Pension...and they are very conservative and very careful and super efficient!

    What is really upsetting to me is. The govt bailed out the banks and Wall st who lost the depositors money (Our collective deposits), by handing out fraudulent loans. Wall st and the banks were given taxpayer funds, to make them whole again, w/out a single dime coming back to us, the depositors. The banks and Wall st don't have an income from selling things. They get their money from all of us, or just single depositor. Why, didn't we get reimbursed? Why didn't a single Real Estate Agent (price fixing), Loan "officer" (prodding the buyers to lie on the app), The Banks (Bad underwriting), Wall st (selling worthless pieces of paper to retirement funds, 401(k)'s, investments, to other countries) go straight to jail, lose all their properties and their life savings or lose their license?? Because, they have great lobbyists!!! That are bought and paid for w/our hard earned money!! Makes me sick.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  27. Peg in NY

    There will be no retirement in our household. We have already begun working on new business ideas for our "golden years". We fully expect to work well into our 70's, like it or not. If we can work more, we plan too. Right now, we own 1 used car, no longer vacation and only shop when it is a need, not a want. Oh, Christmas, Anniversaries, Birthdays, etc. are no longer gift giving holidays. A welcome day off and a chance to rest is the gift now.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  28. Pete in Georgia

    I AM Retired.
    With skyrocketing costs, the threat of terrorism at most airports, and little desire to visit off shore countries....................only to learn how much other countries dislike Americans, I'd say this dismal economy has forced millions like me to focus and learn how close America is now to total destruction thanks to a completely inept and corrupt government.

    Nov. 2012 can't get here soon enough.

    June 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  29. Craig

    I thought I would work into my 70's. Left broadcasting to start a career in Real Estate as an appraiser, knowing I could cut back as needed, or when I wanted. The south Florida market dried up in what seemed like less than 60 days. Instead of age 72, I began collecting Social Security four years ago, just past my 63rd birthday. Now that I'd like to move into a retirement community, I am unable to sell my home. And, with the market's insecurity and our government leaders pragmatic refusal to effectively solve our problems, no way to plan for a future. (West Palm Beach)

    June 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  30. Ed from Texas

    The low interest rate environment prevents me from earning enough on my savings to retire. First it was the dot com bust, then the housing collapse. Jack, please tell me what bubble I should invest in next.

    June 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  31. terese- seattle,wa

    Yes, I need to start a business in order to survive... but, obama gave the banks a bailout, while the banks shake us down for more assets required , as if banks are now looking out for uncle sams money..

    June 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  32. Bryan, Colorado

    No it hasn't. The republicans want you to work until you are dead. I choose to retire on my owm terms. If I am broke so be it at least I will be happy. Either way you die broke. Besides I want to enjoy my grand children while retired. Our love for money and material objects is only causing people to devalue life itself. Our president said that we as Americans can't go on without General Motors so we need to do whatever it takes to make sure they exist. Not clean air, clean water or even clean food supplies. Our priorities are so off base this is what will be our demise. All ancient societies thru history failed because monuments meant more to them than its own people.

    June 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  33. Dennis north carolina

    it has effected my spend alot but i had to retire because of my health.

    June 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  34. Steve

    It would appear I'm retired now!

    June 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  35. Sylvia from San Diego, CA

    I was hoping to retire at 65 now it looks like it will be 70. The positive to this is that I enjoy working and I work motivates me to stay fit.....

    June 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  36. Hubert Bertrand

    I'm retired,thanks god.But jack I see a hard time ahead..The greedy people are sitting on their money,Are they're affraid it might change one day to something else.Boy that would be nice if one morning their money had lost it's value???

    June 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  37. Nate NC

    As a young American who recently worked in HR during the US Census, I employed many people who were desperate for A job. They were mainly citizens close to retiring or forced to retire due to their age. I am beginning to learn that I need to start now to take care of my physical health so that I will be able to participate in the new norm....
    Working for a lifetime.

    June 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  38. Ed from MD

    Simply by planning a retirement below the dirt instead of above the dirt.

    June 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  39. Bill in New Mexico

    Having been retired for eleven years, I'm probably closer to "RIP" than losing my retirement.

    I feel sorry for the future Americans wishing to retire. I think America may be moving into an Era where only the top one percent will be able to retire in comfort.

    We have not only destroyed our economy, we have destroyed our money system.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  40. Mark in Oklahoma City

    The economy has only "slightly" effected my retirement plans, Jack. I am simply moving my retirement date from 2020 to the year 2030....provided I am still here to retire.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  41. bonnie from NJ

    If you mean do I plan on working until I drop dead on the job, then yes. (which after my SS and Medicare gets taken from me may be much sooner than anticpated.)

    June 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  42. Nurse Lisa in Shelton CT

    what plans to retire? Most who look at their post-GWB 401Ks understand that "retirement" will have to include some sort of additional income stream albeit far less technical or stressful than our career was – – – "welcome to Walmart"

    June 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  43. Dave - Phx, Az

    Retire? The rich elite have stolen everything. Retirement is going to be a thing of the past.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  44. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack, what plans? The way things are going, actually nothing is going, I'll have to work until I die on the job. Since I'm in that sector that has to work to provide wages to the government worker sector, and support the Democratic Runaway Spending, I won't get a break. The best I can do is to vote Obama out, and you know Jack, I'm very sorry I'm one of those who believed him and voted him in, but not again!

    June 14, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  45. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    already has, Jack. the wife and I planned to travel after I retired 5 years ago. really can't do that now with the cost of gas almost $4 a gallon AND the fear that Paul Ryan and the Republicans may STEAL our Social Security and Medicare IF they take over the White House, Senate and Congress in 2012.

    we will need ALL our savings just for food, housing and healthcare costs IF that happens. be NO money for "seeing the USA in the Chevrolet".

    June 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  46. Rick McDaniel

    I retired anyway, and while I may be sitting at home most of the time, unable to afford to do much of anything, other than putter around the house, at least I am not trying to work at a physical job, that causes me physical pain, to do, at 66.

    Working longer.......is just a pipe dream for most people.......employers are not going to keep people who have passed the point of being physically able to do their jobs.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  47. Lori - PA


    I'm just trying to find a job. Retirement is the last thing on my mind.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  48. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Most people I know turning 65 are going to answer that question with
    "What Plans" Prices are sky hign on everything and worse on
    groceries.But the fed thinks all is well,now does that sound like people
    that know what they are doing.If ya gotta a job ya better keep it.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  49. Rena

    You need a job to retire from.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  50. Steve, Clifton, VA

    As a recently retiree, the economy is the single constant thing that causes me to question if I retired too early after 40 plus years of working.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  51. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Not really. I am about 15 years out, which is more than enough time for my very well planned mutual fund to make money.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  52. Ralph Spyer

    My first plan was to retire at 65 years ,now if they don"t change it again I will go at 66. The bigest affect will now I will retire in France.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  53. Sandstone.

    "Full-retirement is a matter of how much you want to keep, and how much your willing to let go! You can't take it all with you, so why not settle for the best parts, and live longer. It's the best thing I ever did. I get to write more often, and my singing has improved. I will have a long life now, I feel it in my bone.s, Jack!"

    June 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  54. Joe


    Retire, how can I retire when I cannot find a decent job?
    I tell my kids that when I am walking the streets after these Ryanesque employment, health, and retirement plans are implemented, then perhaps one of the wealthy Republican benefactors will hire me to mow their lawn simultaneously circumventing paying any legal taxes; because, if the Republicans have their way ... anyone unemployed, or not able to take care of themselves in our "so called" civilized society ... will be considered to be an illegal alien; therefore, it will be impossible to retire, much less to stay alive.

    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    June 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  55. Scott in Bellingham

    Tried to get even a small loan lately? Not happening. The "Change" as President Obama put it means everything stops moving along. Many of us have lost so much already we now plan to work till death, and hope there will be work to do.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  56. Chris - Denver

    It hasn't. I always planned to work as long as I am physically able to, and then to drop dead.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  57. Jackson - Portland, Oregon

    Yes, I plan to retire much earlier, by selling off my house and all my investments before the market inevitabley crashes again, plunging the world into another Great Depression. I'll be the king of cash.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  58. Mike

    I retired early, thank God. However my kids won't get to retire period.. Boy! Does that ever make me angry, very, very angry.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  59. Jeff In Minnesota

    While I have saved for retirement, I always have assumed that I would never be able to retire between the insolvency of social security and the cost of health care.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  60. andyz Lynn, MA

    Not one iota! We unemployed have no retirement plans.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  61. Renee Peoria,Ill

    What plans? I've always been poor and I've known for a long time now that retirement for me means when I die.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  62. Kim Smith

    I had to come out of retirement because of Republican policies and non-existent logical regulation on financial issues. I believe I will never be able to retire again, since nothing has changed to police Wall Street and the thieves that run it, and our Congress. Republicans hate to see anyone but themselves, or their friends, make money.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  63. Mr. D

    Don't say retire to an old person. The only "retiring" people will be doing, as they are out looking for work, is to bed at night. . We have met the future, and unfortunately it is us.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  64. Fred In LA

    Of course this mess the Democrats have gotten us in affects my retirement plans. Now I have none.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  65. Gene Lambert

    Retirement? What retirement? After what the Republicans pulled off in the past decade vandalizing the economy, the only retirement money left is now in their pockets. Yes, I would definitely say the economy has affected a lot of people's retirement plans.

    Gene Lambert
    Kelseyville, California

    June 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  66. jean2009

    Jack, as an already retired, at a certain point there is no going back...as for gold turning to brass...thanks to Wall Street...how about tin? Not everyone is lucky enough health-wise to still be working three days a week like one 97 year old I know. Is anyone still under the delusion that retirement is affordable? How about inevitable?

    As for Mr. Gross, he is just another rich Republican drama queen.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  67. Mike in Minneapolis

    To quote Eisenhower (who would shudder at the current batch of Republicans), "A plan is nothing. Planning is everything." We'll see.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  68. randy

    the way this government is going only the rich will be able to retire,myself, i will retire at 65 -66 and if i can;t with social security, medicare and my 401 k then i will do what our politicians do, steal from the government.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  69. Denny from Tacoma

    Retire? After our recent recession, with what?

    June 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  70. Bill in Penna

    Already retired on Social Security and a small and vanishing IRA now the stock markets are in free fall and interest rates about to climb.
    While Congress gave itself huge cost of living raises they gave us on Social Security 0 for the 3 year in a row.
    Medical costs, utilities, property taxes, etc. have not taken any 3 year break and continue to rise.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  71. Julie of Virginia

    I retired and the economy tanked. Obviously, retirement is not what I thought it would be.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  72. Rob in NC

    Not at all. I am a teacher and I will pretty much have to teach until I fall over in the classroom... but I planned on having to do that anyway. Rob in NC

    June 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  73. Terry in Virginia

    Retire? What's that? No, Jack, no such thing in our household. I just hope that when I die, someone has the decency to notice before I start stinking up the place.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  74. Paul

    working full time
    Retirement Date (No longer employed)
    When the old ball & chain is eligible for Medicare

    HOW bout dem MAVs!

    June 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  75. Karl in Flint

    It actually helped mine. I was able to buy a great $50K home for less the $10K and move back to my roots in the Midwest. I didn’t really have any investments to go south, just Social Security and a small pension. I’m not cruising the Caribbean or on Safari in Africa, but I never wanted to do that anyway. I’m comfortable and have my family nearby and that was my original picture of retirement anyway. I pity those that waited to retire to do the exciting things and now can’t. I did them when I was able and don’t regret it at all.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  76. Gigi Oregon

    As long as the Republicans are in power... yes the golden years will be less than brass. We and our parents had the golden years and the pensions. Thanks to the republican party and corporate American with the blessing of the religious right our children will receive longer hours and extended years. And with the right to work states any one who will do your job for less...will get your job. And I'm sorry to say some of you asked for it. So don't even plan on retirement. You'll be in debt from the cradle to the grave. Thanks to the war debt Bush left you.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  77. Brendan

    I have no plans to retire.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  78. Charles Brady

    The economy has made it impossible for me to ever retire. I will have to work till I drop.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  79. Jeremy

    Retirement? I am more worried about finding work first.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  80. Joel

    Retire Jack?!? I'll have to die at the wheel.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  81. Gent V

    Very Easy Jack, it's made it very simple.

    I'm buying a plane ticket to Norway, that socialist country that takes care of it's elderly and letting the government of Norway take care of me.


    June 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  82. Pat crotty

    Retirement is no longer a word in my dictionary, jack. As a typical baby boomer-i dont see a day when i can retire, and i thank George Bush for killing retirement for the majority of us in my generation. Pat Bismarck, ND

    June 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  83. Kenny

    You're kidding right? Retirement is for rich people. I came to terms with it a long time ago that us working class folks are going to have to either become criminals or work until we drop.

    I only hope that when my time comes it's in a cubicle and not the floor of a fast food restaurant.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  84. Mary

    I am now 65 years old, retired and doing fine. Us baby boomers have been told for at least 25 years to save, save, save for retirement. I am glad I paid attention.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  85. D. Bunn

    I am teacher who has seen my very small paycheck shrink even further as my fellow citizens seem to be calling for my head along with my fellow educators. Savings? Not hardly. I can just cover the costs my single-parent family incurs month to month. The state requires I put 6% of my monthly paycheck into PERSI and Uncle Sam says I have to pay into Social Security, but I am beginning to wonder if I will ever see any of it, let alone live long enough to use any of it. I'll be teaching until Methuselah looks young again.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  86. Joshua--North Carolina

    I opened up a 401k the very first day I was eligible, as I am in my first career in my working life. And after one-year I am already second-guessing my contribution amount, wondering if I can afford to live if I double what I take out of my paycheck. At the age of 23 should I have to have this kind of anxiety?!? I would certainly hope not.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  87. Rick

    Retire?... Nah... I'll probably die on the job before I can ever retire.

    Social Security is quickly becoming a program where the American worker pays and pays and pays but never sees a cent ot that money returned to them.

    The higher they raise the retirement age, the more they guarantee that they will never have to pay you back because you will not likely live that long!

    June 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  88. Andrew, Japan

    I can retire now, but I think I am too young to retire. I guess I have had some good luck plus my value system will not allow me to go to far into debt. I have never lived to or beyond my means and have always been comfortable living below my means. My salary right now is primarily for savings and investment. My home is paid for and I have rental income. The rental income plus another income stream I have is more than enough to live comfortably. I have never really expected anybody but myself to care of my affairs. So has the economy really effected me? No,
    I am an ant, not a grasshopper.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  89. Kevin

    What retirement?
    The government is currently raiding our (government employees) retirement accounts to make sure it pays its debt obligation. This will continue until they run out of our money, soon, OR they pass an increase in the debt ceiling, doubtful. Either way we are screwed.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  90. Sue

    I plan to retire at 70, but am pretty sure when I get there, I will not be able to do so. I've pretty much decided I will have to work the rest of my life. Retirement does not seem to be a feasible option for most of us in our 40s, or even 30s and 50s.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  91. Dan

    I'm 37 and Retirement is just a illusion. I have a better chance of winning the Lottery then I do retiring.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  92. Glenn

    Retirement? What is this thing you speak of?

    June 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  93. Ronda (from Canastota, NY)

    Jack, I've been retired since 2004 but the economy in general, rising prices of gas and food, and the increase in the cost of health insurance coupled with decreases in coverage of some health-care items, will determine how well and how often I can actually enjoy my retirement. I qualify for Social Security this year, and hopefully Medicare will still be around when I need it.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  94. Betsy Laney

    I was going to retire this year but could not refinance my house as expected to consolidate payments so I have to wait another year or two to pay off some debt. I am only 63 so it is still a little early but a few years ago it would have been a different picture. Also, chances of getting a part time job in Maine don't look too good right now.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  95. Dee Manning

    I will retire when they pry the computer mouse (or whatever they have then) out of my cold, dead hand. Literally. I love what I do with every fiber of my being, it's the main thing that brings my life joy and meaning.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  96. Robert W

    Let's face it Jack, we are just going to have to work until the day we die to pay for everything

    June 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  97. Ken in NC

    In retirement my travels have been reduced in that I no longer travel to political events. My city has extensive bike trails so I use them for my trips down to the river front once a month. I am saving up so I can buy gas to go vote against any politician running in my city next year.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  98. Jessy

    I have no plans to retire, Jack. In fact, I don't ever wish to retire. What in the world am I going to do besides work? Work is all I ever knew. Of course, I could do cross-country road trips and see the wonders of the US, but how much is that gonna cost me for fuel, vehicle maintenance, hotel and food expenses? So, unless I'm filthy, I don't see retirement happening in my lifetime.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  99. Dave Patanella

    Not for me but my wife will have to work a little longer!

    June 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  100. Brendan - Athens OH

    I plan on working until I die..

    I've given up on the idea that we are working hard now for a relaxing tomorrow.

    My goal is to make sure that my work (teaching at the moment) has a positive influence on society. More people should focus on enjoying their line of work.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  101. Yvonne

    What plans? I'm 51 years old and for the past 20 years I've known I would have to work until the day I die. Already retired persons should be honest and admit that they are going to collect far more in benefits than they ever paid in. Congress, please tax at least those benefits that excede minimum living costs! Most of those already retired are enjoying a far better quality of life than the rest of will.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  102. Jake in California

    You're right, Jack. We won't see the cheap gold watch and pension at the end of our days. We can't even expect a brass ring anymore. We're going to be considered lucky if, after our retirement party, we get taken to a back alley and shot in the head. It would be just about the most lavish retirement many of us could afford.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  103. Elizabeth

    Get real folks. Retirement is a thing of the past. These days the best thing you can do for yourself is to make every effort to keep your health. You are gonna need it – weather to keep your job or to grow veggies in the back yard so you can have something to eat. Or both. When your health goes down, everything goes down.

    Those guys in Washington are not there to take care of you. They are there soley to please themselves and their monied buddies. So sit up and take note.

    Walk alot. Drink clean Water. Eat lots of Fresh Fruit and Veggies. Be nice to yourself, and live and long and happy life.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  104. Jody

    Like many in this country, it started with the loss of our home to a short sale, and has ended with one of us unemployed for a year. All savings gone trying to hold on to the house that WAS to be our retirement and trying to help our son with college. Starting over at 40 something and really having a tough time of it. Just yesterday I was told point blank by the folks at Job Service that "everyone is hiring young people". Didn't think I was "old" yet. Right now I'd like something to retire from!!! I look at the folks at Walmart handing out the carts in a whole new light. I have no doubt it will be me at 70 something. I only hope that rents based on income will still be around then.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  105. Deborah

    I was an Executive in a large corporation which downsized and I had to retire early. I would have been fine if the stock market had held but my stock options from my former employer are under water, the banks are not providing decent interest rates on my retirement money, no one is hiring , my house is paid for but it has lost value and I have had to use retirement funds to survive. What this means is that I face a poor retirement because the economy hit my job 6 years before I was planning to retire.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  106. MG Robertson

    You left one thing out of the litany of reasons folks can't retire - our adult kids can't find work. On my block in McLean, VA, all the high school graduates, college students and even two college graduates are doing "internships" this summer...that is, working for free. One of the college graduates has a job...at Olive Garden. Retire? We're all planning to have three or four generations in each house in ten years.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  107. Joshua from Oklahoma

    I'm 24 years old, and I imagine I'll never retire. If I invest, then Wall Street will just loose it. My social security? With things the way they are that's just a pipe dream. I suppose I could bury my money in the backyard . . .

    June 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  108. Mike

    Dear Jack, I'm a 17 year old who has just graduated high school and going off to college. But I'm not worried about how I'm going to attend and succeed in college but how I can pay for my retirement. Sadly at this point I'm not going to prepare to retire because I doubt that option will be available to me even if I have a college degree. I doubt I'll be able to pay for it when the time comes, HONESTLY. If this country ever wants to consider retirement as a realistic option for not only me but the hundreds of millions of other citizens we need heavy finical reform, a steady creation of jobs, and a new set of political priorities.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  109. Michael R, Linehan

    I am a 68 year old school bus driver, have worked my whole life and I can't even afford to re-tire all four wheels on my 10 year old Chwvy. Prices have so far outstripped wages that what seemed possible a dozen years ago is completely out of reach today. I wouldn't feel so bad about it except that it is really so easy to fix. Both sides need to stop lying and pretending that it is complicated and take some simple steps to put Americans back to work at a living wage

    June 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  110. Matthew Brisebois

    Jack, your all not alone in the usa, i'm Canadian and we have the same problem here, its easy, Greed , cut out the middle class, 20%
    rich and 80% poor. It won't stop until we have a " general strike" clear across the board. Globalization is what caused this problem. Its not going away any time soon...

    June 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  111. Susan from Texas

    I' ve tried to retire several times and have to go back to work; thank goodness I have 2 college degrees in a field that needs workers. I'm 68 years old and still working and really enjoy it since I'm healthy, but I really wanted to visit my grandchildren more often. I have savings and a pension, but it is not enough in today's economy. It has been a struggle and I'm upset that the politicians don't care about people like me.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  112. Stuart Mayer

    Has the great recession changed my retirement plans? Here's my list:
    – planned to retired early down in FLA from NYC around 2008
    – sold my cop-op in NYC and lost the proceeds in the market
    – lost my retirement and personal savings of roughly $5 million
    – lost my 25 year near 800 credit rating because a family member needed me as a co-signer and the property in FLA went from $335K to $70K; had to default
    – jobs in financial services industry have tanked and I am now stuck in Florida unable to afford my home city of NY
    – health insurance has almost doubled in 4 years; Obamacare has done so many great things

    All in all I am now mid-career, broke, stuck in Florida, zapped of all and any drive, hounded by banks, hounded by Uncle Sam for more, and just about ready to quit. I have almost $1.5 million remaining of capital losses and I get the great fortune to right-off $3000 per year till I die. However, I funded the US Govt, NYS, and NYC dutifully for 25 years. Oh and I can also thank Uncle Sam for funding the very banks that are offering me a final blow with so-called stimulus packages. What does Uncle Sam offer me? $1,000/month health costs. Thanks so much for that.

    Retirement? Maybe not. Maybe, I'll make my $30K/year and keep it all. Work hard and provide my best for my employer and Uncle Same? Not anymore.


    June 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  113. Papa Joe--orange, ca.

    Jack, I was planning on retiring in 2 1/2 years as I will be 67. Now however due to our (x-lint) economy and exhorbitant medical costs, I'm forced to recind those plans for at least 2-3 years. I'm not happy!, but I must continue on for my wife's sake as well as my own. What a mess we have made out of this country.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  114. Lee Anderson

    Not one bit. I am 60 years old and for as long as I can remember, I have never believed that Social Security or Medicare would be there for me when I reached retirement age. Unfortunately, it looks like I was right.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  115. Richard

    Heck yes...I got married.


    San Diego, Ca.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  116. Rocky in LA

    With retirement funds shrinking, due to a long declining market and Social Security funds being placed on the 'Craps' table...I'm not real confident that there will be anything left for me, forcing me to work into my 70's or 80's. I'm not looking forward to retirement at all because it's becoming more clear that actual retirement will not come, until it is accompanied by a pine box. At age 53, struggling to keep a home worth half of what I paid for it, struggling with declining work hours, and trying to navigate around town, at 4 dollars a gallon, for only the essentials...RETIREMENT is seeming more and more like a fairy tale than a real pot of gold, at the end of the rainbow. I guess that there's always the lotto!

    June 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  117. Louis


    I lost over $250,000 in two stock market bubbles . I lost my job and cannot find another job. I was forced to retire for income. If the congress does not raise the debt limit forget about retirement, I'll probably be joining the the homeless. Orlando Florida

    June 14, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  118. Cee, La

    We are retired, I guess it depends on what your definition is... we dont live like rock stars, we dont travel abroad, but we have a good decent retirement.....much better than our parents did.....

    June 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  119. Jim Busher

    Hi Jack,
    I have always expected to be active until I drop. However, now my activity will need to be financially productive and not just a service that I volunteer to my community. The "BIG" in big business and big government have depressed the middle class and small business/entrepreneurial spirit in this country. To sustain our nation, we need to return control over our resources back to the local level. Big business only cares about quarterly and annual reports and politicians of big government only care about two and four year elections. Local folks care about five years, twenty-five years, one hundred years... you know things like our children and grandchildren! See you at the Farmer's Market!

    June 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  120. dennis

    With my wife unemployed, the rising cost of living and a son in college; I had to hit my retirement savings hard. I know now the only way I could retire is to wait for Medicare, that is provided I can continue to work untill I'm 66 yrs. and it still exists. My greater fear is for my son who will be entering a jobless economy. He has already proved that he can spend wisely, but will he loose anyway due to a poor investment return?

    June 14, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  121. Astin from Atlanta

    I'm 42 years old and my standard of living has already dropped one class level in the past five years, in part due to the economy and in part due to my spouse's health problems. The future that I see before me, honestly is making me hope that I don't survive to see retirement age.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  122. Laurie

    I am scared. I am a 65 yr old who has been doing floor nursing for 36 years. 12 hr shifts, the increased difficulty of the patient load and the increase in "paper work" makes the job almost impossible for an older person. I am not physically or financially ready to retire, but mentally I don't think i can do it much longer. it is FRIGHTENING!

    June 14, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  123. Alene

    I'm not looking forward to having 69 years olds teaching my grandchildren in kindergarten, or any grade, for that matter; nor do I want to rely on late sixty-somethings taking care of me as nurses and aides in a hospital. How can a fireman in his late sixties carry hoses and rescue people from burning houses? Have any of our politicians thought about these scenarios when talking about extending the retirement age? They are so out of teach with reality!

    June 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm |