Well, it used to be, way back when, that you’d work for one single company for almost your entire adult working life, and you’d retire with your “gold watch” and a nice pension or retirement nest egg. That was before the new economic reality that unfortunately faces us today, one that has forced many people out of retirement to report back to the work force because of losses in the stock market that made it necessary, and also one that has pushed out other’s retirement indefinitely.
Many people are finding that their retirement accounts have been wiped out substantially by the current economic conditions that have greatly affected the market and investor confidence, which wiped clean years of progress on the Dow Jones industrial average in a matter of days. It’s still recuperating, and although it has increased substantially, some wonder if it might not take years to get back to the levels we enjoyed in the beginning of 2008, and especially in 2007 when the market seemed to peak and if anything, be overvalued by investors.
I’m 34 years old, and I know that this current crisis has set back my plans about five years if my calculations are correct. I had a plan to actually retire from my corporate job a little earlier than the real retirement age, and work on other projects outside of that job, however this current situation drained a lot of my nest egg, and I’m finding that I don’t feel so confident not “retiring” early without that money that I thought I’d have as a cushion for when my real incomes stop coming in.
A lot of horror stories have culminated as well. There are stories of scams and frauds coming to light because of the collapsing stock market, where older people who are already retired are finding that someone has ripped them off of all of their retirement savings. There are stories of elderly people losing so much in the stock market that much of their inheritance money has been dashed, and won’t be passed on to their young ones, which means less money circulating in the economy yet again, and there are also stories about the elderly getting taken for their money from other fraudsters that prey on this sort of thing.
I’ve also heard a lot about my friends who have lost quite a bit, and have been forced to maybe dip into emergency funds early on or cut back on their college savings funds for their kids so that they may still retire in peace and comfort.