Millions on the brink of retirement have watched their 401(k)s plummet in value. Here are links to material on how the financial turmoil is affecting retirement and what you can do.
Get Your Finances Ready For Retirement
This PBS Nightly Business Report series answers questions for recent and soon-to-be retirees, and offers updates and articles, some from U.S. News & World Report.
Shifting Careers Blog
A New York Times blog, which explores the number of retired workers being forced to take on part or full-time work.
The Specter Haunting Old Age
A brief history of economics and retirement in America and reviews of five recent books on the topic. (The New York Review of Books, March 20, 2008)
No Country for Young Men
The Atlantic's Megan McArdle writes candidly on the challenges facing the economy as Baby Boomers begin to retire. (January/February 2008)
Get Rich Slow!
Salon's Amy Reiter writes on retirement for those who, like her, "don't really understand half of what I've ever been told about 401(k)s." Included is an interview with David Wray, featured in FRONTLINE's retirement report. (Dec. 3, 2008)
Baby Boomers Face Massive Loss of Retirement Wealth Due to Housing Market Meltdown
This June 2008 study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research analyzed 2004 wealth holdings of families headed by people aged 45 to 54 and projected the wealth holdings of families in this same age group in 2009: "This extraordinary destruction of wealth will have tremendous implications for millions of families as they enter retirement. ... Coupled with a very low personal savings rate, this means that many people will only have Social Security and Medicare to rely on in their retirement."
Home Is Where the Nest Egg Is
An article by Robert Powell, who writes the subscription-only Retirement Weekly newsletter for MarketWatch, about the impact of falling home prices on retirement savings. (Sept. 17, 2008)
Only the Good Buy Young
Slate's "Undercover Economist" Tim Hartford maintains that even in this bear market, young people should consider borrowing money to buy stocks, a process he likens to a mortgage taken out on a house: "Most of us need a retirement fund as well as a place to live; there is nothing intrinsically risky about regular borrowing to get that fund off to an early start." (Nov. 15, 2008)
Extolling the Value of the Long View
A New York Times profile of Vanguard founder John Bogle. His message post-financial crisis: Buy, if you can afford to bear some short-term losses, because many stocks are now a bargain. (Oct. 25, 2008)
After Losses, Pensions Ask For a Change
"Stung by outsize investment losses, some of the nation's biggest companies are pushing Congress to roll back rules requiring them to put more money into their pension funds, just two years after President Bush signed a law meant to strengthen the pension system." (The New York Times, Nov. 20, 2008)
Pension Time Bomb
George Will's Sept. 11, 2008 Washington Post column looks at why current pension payouts by state and local governments are unsustainable.
This site collects a good collection of daily links about pensions and the worrisome situation many of them confront. Run by the Fullerton (Calif.) Association of Concerned Taxpayers.
Pensions Problems: They're Back
When Can You Afford to Retire? first aired, San Diego was in the news as a municipality having significant trouble with its pension fund; five pensions officials were indicted for fraud in January 2006. Now, the financial crisis has taken a significant chunk out of the city's pension fund. (Voice of San Diego, Oct. 30, 2008)
ORGANIZATIONS & RESOURCES
Pension Rights Center
It is "the nation's only consumer organization dedicated solely to protecting and promoting the retirement security of American workers, retirees and their families."