Retirement Redefined: Recession & The Golden Years

Millions of seniors have retired in the Southwestern Sunbelt. They are drawn by the warm weather, a bounty of activities and low cost-of-living. The massive wave of baby boomers just starting to retire are likely to find a reality far different from that of their elders. The recent recession brought steep losses in personal wealth, led by plummeting housing prices and thinned retirement portfolios. Rising health care costs and federal budget cuts threaten the Medicare/Social Security blanket. In this ongoing series of multimedia stories, Fronteras: The Changing America Desk investigates how retirement is being redefined and offer links to useful sites that may keep your nest egg from spoiling.

Retirement Redefined: A Timeline
By Laurel Morales & Jose Luis Jiménez, with help from Timetoast.

As part of the multimedia series Retirement Redefined: Recession & The Golden Years, reporters of the Fronteras: Changing America Desk have compiled some fascinating facts about retirement and links to some helpful resources.
In this economy, retirement plans can unravel when adult children lose jobs, and there are grandchildren to support. In the finale of our multimedia series, more and more seniors are finding their golden years are more crowded than they expected.
City and state workers across the Southwest have historically put up with mediocre salaries for the guaranteed pension benefits that come with the job. As part of our multimedia series, we find those days may be over due to hard economic times. San Diego is a poster child for this looming pension crisis as it closes a $2.1 billion deficit.
Ever-increasing life expectancies have opened a new stage between mid-life and anything resembling old age. As part of our multimedia series, we look at a growing number of baby boomers who are entering their 60s and rejecting notions they should idle away or play golf for 30 years. Instead, they want another career.
People are planning their retirement based on historical life expectancies that are much younger than the current trend. In the second story of our multimedia series, we look at people who live longer than what they planned for.
Fewer Americans today envision relaxing in retirement as more than half of those age 55 and older struggle financially to retire. As baby boomers age, many face diminished 401(k)s, dwindling entitlements and growing medical bills.