The Rising Price of Retirement

As more people work part-time rather than hit the greens, the formula for how much they need to live on is changing. Their tax rate may not fall, and expenses may be higher than planned

Mention the word "retirement," and most people shudder. The term seems synonymous these days with the phrase, "you can't afford it." More than half of workers in the 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute say the total value of their household's savings and investments, excluding the value of their home and any defined benefit plans, is less than $25,000. Housing wealth has vaporized for many households. More than 27 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage—13.4 million homeowners—had negative-equity or near-negative-equity mortgages at the end of 2010, according to CoreLogic, an information and analytics firm.

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