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A Serious Warning For Retirees

This should be taken as a warning to all, and especially the large baby boomer generation that is coming up on retirement age. Your retirement may not be as solid as you thought it was just a couple of years ago.

With all the bad news about the economy and the woes on Wall Street, Main Street, bank failures, the massive buildup of personal debt by people like you and me, and the decline in real estate values, it is no wonder that people are not to thrilled about the way things have turned out with deregulation and the unsupervised actions by those who were in leadership positions over the past few years.

There is enough blame to go around for this mess, although many of those who should be held to a higher degree of accountable for much of what has taken place over will never be brought before public scrutiny. With that said, we should move on.

Someone has to take the lead in turning things around in this country, and for that matter, the world. It may not be what we want to hear, but a new direction in leadership was necessary if this country is to come out of this recession in a stronger economic position.

The naysayers and the doomsday pundits should check the fear mongering at the door and get behind the new president in an effort to try to help rebuild the confidence of American citizens and the rest of the world. If they don't, it's too bad because they are just as much a part of the problem, maybe even more so, as anyone else.

Even though they may not agree with everything President Obama is doing, they have to admit that the country could not continue to go in the direction in which it was going. The majority of people in this country have spoken and the country is going to move on with or without the naysayers. The great thing about this country is that the majority still rules.

As the country begins to move forward, the economic picture is still a little dismal but the good news is that with the impending stimulus package that was signed into law by the President, things will start getting better. It is going to take a while, maybe years, for the economy to right itself so no one should be naive enough to think that things are going to get better overnight. It won't!

In the meantime, we must do some soul searching on our own behalf. Remember, some companies are still downsizing and laying off many of their workers, while others are filing for bankruptcy. Some businesses are totally shutting down their operations altogether or they are packing up to go overseas.

Many retirement pension plans have decreased in value or have totally dried up as stock prices have fallen substantially. There has been a vast mismanagement of 401(k) plans, stock options, securities, and other investor assets, and truthfully, in many cases, all the money that was calculated for retirement is no longer there.

Where does this leave you if you have planned to retire soon? This question cannot be satisfactorily answered by anyone but yourself. You have to research your assets and determine if your retirement plans need to be reevaluated.

Millions of people are finding themselves in a quandary, especially those who have made plans to retire within the next few years. And many who have already retired can't live off their pensions because they, too, are in such financial straits that they have no choice but to go back to work. It's sad, but it's true.

As you have probably already heard, a lot of individuals have borrowed themselves into a very deep hole and many are just one pay check away from financial ruin. They have borrowed on their homes and maxed out their credit cards. They didn't think that the good times would end so abruptly, and for that reason, they didn't prepare. Many may have to work well beyond the age in which they thought they would be able to retire.

These financial hard times are causing many people to become so stressed out that they are making unwise decisions. Take some time to look over your retirement plans. Talk to credit counselors if you have to, and find out from your employer if your 401(k) and stock purchases have dropped in value. Ask yourself if you will be able to maintain your mortgage payment, if you still have one.

Housing and transportation, along with health care, are serious issues that should be addressed before your retire. The main thing to remember is not to panic. Things have a way of working themselves out and you may come out of this stronger than you think.

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