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Can you afford to retire? Some Americans say never

Consumer Report

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – If you think you may never be able to afford to retire, you have company. A new survey from the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs confirms the financial fears of many Americans.

It says one in 10 of those surveyed say they may never retire. Nearly 25 percent of workers over 65 are still in the workforce.

Some of those older workers are still trying to recover from the financial meltdown a decade ago which saw losses of millions of dollars in 401 K plans across the nation.

“We know from the crash that people’s 401 K’s went way down and so they were almost re-starting retirement and that’s only ten years from where they probably had a decent nest egg at that point,” said Richard Reeve from Consumer Credit Counseling in Savannah. =

Reeve says more workers in the previous generation had company pension plans but now “retirement is up to us.”

He also says older workers may be working still because they are dealing with health issues and expense needs of elderly parents plus their own college-age children may still be living at home because of student loan debt.

“So, it’s kind of this perfect storm of okay here are my obligations of my family- my expenses are higher yet I don’t have as much of a safety net as my parents or grandparents did,” said Reeve. “That’s more of a burden and so we see a lot of people working into retirement, just bypassing it all together and just kind of continuing to work.”

Financial experts say the plan of older workers to stay in the employment arena must consider possible health issues as well as job availability.

Experts also suggest that even those older workers who are still employed should continue to try to save whatever they can. They also urge younger workers to participate in 401 K plans that may be offered by their employer.

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