What the meltdown means to me, a boomer with grown children

My husband has a great job in a stable industry, but he's 63. Two years ago, we thought by this year he'd be officially retired -- doing a little consulting, but taking the winter off so we could spend the cold months somewhere warm. I have a home-based business that has always offered flexibility. Together, we were looking forward to a more leisurely life.

The economic slowdown has made us rethink our plans. My husband continues to work at his old job -- usually 50 or 60 hours a week -- and I'm not slowing down either because we and those who depend on us need what we earn.


We're not alone in this. A survey conducted for AARP found that nearly 20 percent of the people in our age group have postponed retirement. In most ways we're lucky. Overall, 66 percent of people older than 55 are having trouble paying for essential items such as food, gas and medicine. Fortunately, we don't have those troubles.

But we do worry about our grown children who have found this tough economy a drag on independence. Our two oldest children are economically solid citizens. They got their careers off the ground before the economy soured. But our younger ones face bigger challenges.