Boomers worry retirement won't be what they had hoped

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With home prices and their 401(k) accounts falling, Baby Boomers can forget about retiring to the beach in Florida and playing golf all day. Instead, they're worrying about paying the bills.

The top financial concern for people 45 and older is now paying for food, shelter and other basic needs, according to a global survey by the Hartford Financial Services Group published on RedwoodAge.com, a Web site targeted to people older than 45.

About a third of the average retirement nest egg has been lost in the financial markets, according to the report. Hartford's data shows that half of Americans over 45 are worried about getting by on a daily basis in retirement, and the numbers are higher overseas, where many European countries have guaranteed pensions.

The study also found that 43% of Americans said they're concerned they won't have enough money to enjoy life, 27% said they're worried about running out of money before they die, and 16% of Americans said they may not be able to afford health care. With an average stay at a nursing home costing $80,000 per year, not having enough money in retirement is a scary thought.

While retiring to Florida or other sunbelt locations may be difficult, some Boomers are looking at retiring in Mexico, where home prices can be half as much as they are in the United States, according to a developer in Mexico. Maybe that's one way to solve the problem of paying bills -- convert them to pesos.

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job hunt at www.talesofanunemployeddad.blogspot.com

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