Residents worry about retirement savings

September 18, 2008 6:58:42 PM PDT
The ups and downs of Wall Street have the biggest impact on people planning for retirement. The latest turmoil is forcing some older workers to rethink their plans. And in some cases, people already out of the workforce are coming back.

Patricia Snider of San Ramon is a paralegal who will turn 64 next month. With the uncertain economy, retiring is not an option.

"I want to be able to work to hold on to my house and live in a standard of living that is going to be comfortable for the remaining years of my life," said Snider.

The American Association of Retired Persons is keeping track of people like her.

In a recent survey, the AARP found one in four older workers are putting off retirement because of the recent economic slowdown.

Snider and others attended a job retraining program for older workers and retirees, put on by Eastbay Works, an organization that provides job opportunities for people in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

The decline in the stock market is changing their economic forecast, especially for those who rely on their 401K to supplement their income. In recent months, there have been other unforeseen circumstances.

"Whether it is food, gas was up, now it's done but it's still significantly higher than what we are used to. Medical cost keep on increasing far more than the regular inflation," said Paul Remack from RG Financial Partners.

Remack is a financial planner. He advises people of retirement age to put off using their 401K money as long as possible and stay in the workforce, even if it's part time.

"The biggest question most people are dealing with today is what's going to live longer me or my money? And what you want to know is that your money is going to outlive you," said Remack.

Tess Cantile of Pittsburg knows now is not time to pick leisure over labor.

"Instead of having fun and retiring and going on vacation we're here to look for a job to supplement our living of course," said Cantile.


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