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Continued: Retirement could be bummer for many boomers

  • Article by: DONNA GEHRKE-WHITE , Sun Sentinel
  • Last update: May 25, 2013 - 12:26 PM

She was able to find work at a program for juveniles but has struggled since then to get by. She considers herself lucky that she got into an AARP program, working at a state workforce agency in Hollywood, Fla. Even with her Social Security benefits, making ends meet has not been easy. And saving for retirement? Out of the question.

Her warning to other baby boomers: If you think you want to get a part-time job to supplement your Social Security, realize it may be harder than you think to snag one.

“There are so many people looking for work — even part-time work,” Hallback said. “It didn’t use to be that way. But now there’s so much competition.”

To get to a comfortable retirement level, many baby boomers will have to reinvent themselves by working longer and resuming their saving — even if it means not financially helping their children and further shaving off living expenses, said financial planners and analysts who work with older workers.

Most who lost jobs will have to rework their budgets to still save for retirement with smaller paychecks, said Florida’s AARP director Jeff Johnson.

“Chances are they are going into a much lower salary than they had before,” Johnson said.

Some boomers will also have to adjust to the new reality of more companies eliminating their 401(k) contributions to workers’ accounts, said Boca Raton, Fla., financial planner Mari Adam.

But boomers can’t use that as an excuse not to save, Adam said. “They don’t save enough now,” she added. They especially must not help their children through college if that jeopardizes their retirement savings, Adam said.

“Their kids can get loans,” she said.

The key is to not to go through all the savings within a few years of retiring, added Craig Copeland, an analyst with the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Some laid-off boomers who have managed to hold onto some savings can retire as long as they budget and watch their spending, said Plantation, Fla., financial planner Ben Tobias.

“While comfortable, their retirement won’t be as comfortable as planned,” he said. “It’s happened to a lot of people.”

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  • Sharon Hallback, 65, left her job to care for her mother in 2009 and hasn’t been able to find the right full-time job to get back on her feet.

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