April 16, 2013 — Millions of baby boomers have been forced into earlier than intended retirement. Surviving that experience has become a brutal challenge. A study from the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank, found that it took more than nine months for half of those over 50 to find a job. Many have not been able to find a job, and have either given up the search or gotten creative about how to survive on their reduced incomes.
3 Boomers Profiled
The Squared Away Blog from the Center for Retirement Research recently profiled 3 baby boomers who are experiencing the struggle to survive. The profiles will sound familiar to many.
Kevin Milligan, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia, determined that two-thirds or more of jobless Americans between ages 55 and 65 rely on their spouses for income. Investment income is another important way they survive (although typical savings for households age 55-64 are quite low – $42,000), followed by social security, pensions, or disability income. Having only one spouse working creates hardships, as these older households are less able to save in their 401(k)s.
Jobless boomers are often forced to tap charities, take part time work, and collect food stamps to survive. And many unemployed boomers are being forced to collect Social Security benefits before they had intended, sacrificing a bigger benefit if they could just delay filing for a few more years.
For further reading
Squared Away Blog – How They Survived
How are you coping? Please use the Comments section below to share your story on how you are coping with an unexpected retirement.