Lynn Bartlett of Bartlett Financial Services, a local financial planner, wrote a very relevant article about how retirement will be very different going forward than it was fo previous generations. We live longer, have fewer sources of income, and will have increased medical and living expenses. Many people will be forced to delay their retirement, or at least keep a part time job. Over the course of the next generation, the average age of retirement may shift to as much as 10 years.
Appropriately enough, she mentioned the fall in home values playing a role in changes in retirement plans. In the past, when it came to downsizing, retirees would make a sizeable profit from the sale of their home and use that as part of their retirement fund. Once the real estate bubble burst, that was no longer a good option for many future retirees.
I wish things weren't so hard on people once they inch closer to their retirements. I hope that it won't be so rough for future generations, but I think we have to change our expectations and get ready for a new norm.