How are you keeping your retirement boat afloat?

The economy has not been kind to retirees or workers who had planned to retire in the next few years, AJC staffer Russell Grantham reports.

Many people have been forced into early retirement because of layoffs or failed businesses. Others have put their plans for leaving the work force on hold, Grantham writes.

How have you coped?

Retired early for Social Security benefits?

Postponed retirement because you can no longer afford it, with real estate and stocks depreciated?

Tapping your 401-k or other savings?

Working part-time?

22 comments Add your comment

Destin Dawg

November 29th, 2010
6:55 am

Aviva S&P 500 indexed Annuity with 1/2 my portfolio was a good move given the timing ( Sept. 2007 ) and my age 62 at the time…….collecting Social Security, wife working too… already down sized 5500 sq. ft. home in Ga. to 2200 sq. Fla. in 1998… boat and 3 cars all paid for… ife is good in Destin, Fl..


November 29th, 2010
7:04 am

We’ve been retired for years and are doing just fine, thank you. We’ve just had to discontinue saving in order to contribute more to those less fortunate and hire someone to do what we used to do ourselves. The bad news is everyone is on food stamps. The good news is at least we don’t have to feed them. But they still have utility bills (unnecessarily high ones) and rent or mortgage payments. Not to mention transportation expenses, phones, cable TV, video games, movie collections, clothes, etc. The continued waste makes you just want to give up on them some times. You can see it in their garbage you take to the dump for them on occasion. And heaven forbid they consider recycling, even if you give them bins.


November 29th, 2010
7:09 am

Destin Dawg

November 29th, 2010
6:55 am

Congratulations! Why do the pols think we’re all destitute? I can’t bring myself to pay those high Florida taxes.


November 29th, 2010
8:26 am

Prayer. I use a lot of prayer. I am very close to the next life. So.

Actually people over 55 are lucky usually. The struggle. If you paid it off. Whew. Lots of time to look back on my life and see where I went wrong. However it turned out ok.


November 29th, 2010
10:42 am

I’m taking a buyout package from my company next March. I’m 57. I was going to work until 62, but this offer is so good I can’t turn it down. I have a traditional pension and my 401K has recovered all losses. I’ve got over $1MM in liquid assets, so I think I will be ok. I will work part time though, cause not ready to do nothing.


November 29th, 2010
11:31 am

There are plenty of charities that need volunteers. Leave the paying positions for those that have families to feed! And speaking of charities, aren’t there enough competent, inherited-monied folks to head these organizations so they won’t have to pay such obscene salaries?

Destin Dawg

November 29th, 2010
2:37 pm

songbird…. we golf and fish… pay attention to your investments !! we don’t ” do nothing “.. but a part time job will tie you down… and pay income taxes.. not worth it IMO… if you have $ 1 mil in investable assets… only job I would consider.. hobby / sport job like part time golf starter, charter fishing, or charity.. etc..


November 29th, 2010
4:06 pm

I’m 60 with no plans to retire. Over the years I’ve watched colleagues retire and rapidly turn from dynamic contributors to vegetables. That’s not what i’m looking for. I’m a baby boomer. I’m well educated and experienced. I’m the product of the ‘Greatest Generation’. I’m a Vietnam vet. I’m a veteran of corporate America. I’m still young at heart, in good health, good physical and mental condition and I want to grow and contribute. I don’t want to waste myself on some golf course, cruise ship, or travel tour. In fact, I’ve already done all that stuff. America is in deep trouble and it needs me and my generation. So, I’m not thinking about retirement. Instead, I’m thinking about how I can contribute. I’m thinking about my next challenge.


November 29th, 2010
4:27 pm

When I lost my job I merged my 401K into my IRA, then created a 72t plan which gives me 5 years of income (granted it is modest, but enough to live on) without penalty. Now I can postpone tapping my pension for 5 years, allowing that to grow.

72t – The Internal Revenue Code sections 72(t) and 72(q) allow for penalty free early withdrawals from retirement accounts. These sections allow you to begin receiving money from your retirement accounts before you turn age 59 1/2 without the normal 10% premature distribution penalty. Use this calculator to determine your allowable 72(t)/(q) Distribution and how it can help fund your early retirement.
The IRS rules regarding 72(t)/(q) Distributions are complex.

Read more: 72t Calculator

Just "riffed" by AIG 3 weeks ago...

November 29th, 2010
4:28 pm

…age 57 and had only been there 8 years after being “riffed” by General Reinsurance in 2002! So, can’t collect SS until age 62, minimal retirement from AIG at age 65, and wife was “riffed” by Delta in 1993, and then by Travelport in 2008, but at least she gets retirement pension from both NOW, as do I from GenRe.. So, I am “retired”, but OK as we owe no one but our mortgage carrier! It will be tough, but, then, I am a child of the “greatest generation” parents who taught me well, so we will be “tougher”…

Destin Dawg

November 29th, 2010
4:29 pm

Shadow…. you a Dr. saving lives or inventing medical devices ??? I was in a travel/commute stressfull RAT race.. I would have had a heart attack by now… not to mention poor investment results…. I’ve paid my dues.. Vietnam vet, 30+ years in sales career, etc… we love golf, fishing, by the way going on a cruise this weekend… let me know your next challenge ?? Good luck

Alex Hawke

November 29th, 2010
4:30 pm

I am counting on the kindness of strangers to get me by.

old dude

November 29th, 2010
4:40 pm

I decided to retire at 62 for fear that I would never get all the money I put into social security. I git a little less, however, it’s enough to cover the basic necessities. I work part time as does my wife and we don’t drive new cars or live in a fancy house or take cruises, but, we are happy that we have enough to live on and have an occasional “treat”. The scary think for us is what will happen with the new Obamacare. I’m especially glad I decided to start getting my SS when I did because I figure I’ve got seven maybe ten more years to live (I’m 66) if I’m lucky. If I get seriously ill, the government will let me die rather than provide health care and medicine. I don’t care what anyone says, they want us to die off. I pity my poor grandchildren and what they will face when they reach my age.


November 29th, 2010
5:00 pm

Retire? Why? I prefer the life of Frank Lloyd Wright, who died in 1959 at 89, the same year the Guggenheim Museum was completed.


November 29th, 2010
6:01 pm

Wife and I (59/57) will retire in 2.5 years. She retired from a county position with a pension and now works for Feds which she did in college, at 62 she will receive a csrs pension and social security. I will retire at 60 with a state pension and put in for my social security 2 years later. We both have 403bs that are 6 digits and own 2 homes. We owe no bills. Life is good, I am concerned about medical coverage I guess as we all are.

Old School

November 29th, 2010
6:26 pm

Newly retired after 36 years in a vocational lab. I just grew tired of the stupid, poorly conceived, mandates handed down from on high that did nothing for student achievement and everything to further burden over-extended teachers with useless stuck-on-the-walls fluff that looks good but serves no rational purpose other than to make administrators from the central office thump their puffed out chests and crow, “RESEARCH-BASED! MUST BE GREAT! ALL SHALL OBEY AND DISPLAY!”

And to think I actually loved teaching and was considered a pretty good instructor by my students, principal, fellow teachers, parents, Advisory Committee, and community. I’m happily retired but would return in a heartbeat if the stupidity came to an end and teachers could once again teach!

Motocross Survivor

November 29th, 2010
6:54 pm

Old Dude, when your grandchildren reach your age, America will be unrecognizable; nothing like the America you or I have known. I don’t see a bright future.


November 29th, 2010
6:56 pm

With most (smoke & mirrors) investments pegged to the fiat dollar, I’ve focused my investing on items with true intrinsic value (precious metals), etc. The Central Banking Cartel seems fit to run the U.S. dollar into the ground, so I stay away from the ponzi scheme that is the stock market. In my estimation, it’s not happenstance that the American middle class is evaporating. I strongly advise all to read G. Edward Griffin’s masterpiece “The Creature from Jekyll Island”.

Mike Rowan

November 30th, 2010
12:37 am

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November 30th, 2010
5:33 am

The future is bright! Our children, grandchildren, greatgrand….etc. are in line to inherit $54+ trillion, at least the part they don’t already own.

…not to mention the higher insurance premiums in Florida.

Make that inherited-money. I added the inherited to monied. No one seemed to be interested, anyway.


November 30th, 2010
5:34 am

ObamaCare, a misnomer if there ever was one, will be tweaked to make it palatable.


December 1st, 2010
2:06 am

I plan on living to 101 years. I will run out of money when I’m 97 – currently 65 and love working.

To paraphrase Warren Buffet – all the gold in the world will make up a cube 67 meters square. With the value of gold today you can buy all the farmland in America, own two Exxon-Mobiles and carry around $1 trillion in pocket money – gold has no value – get rid of it.

Rich people will not go broke in investing in the stock market – vested interest – get on their coattails and prosper. Put your emotions in your back pocket.

As for health the choices are – live a healthy life style or eat like a pig and give your Obama medical dollars to the Doctors. I choose option 1.