Retirees Hit Hard by Markets

Their money is in riskier investments these days
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2008 10:43 AM CDT
A foreclosed home sits empty in Chandler, Ariz. A record 9 percent of American homeowners with a mortgage were either behind on their payments or in foreclosure at the end of June.   (AP Photo/Matt York, file)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Among those hardest hit by the financial crisis are retirees, and they have less chance to recover than their younger counterparts, the New York Times reports. As companies have abandoned fixed pensions for 410(k)s, retirees can lose large percentages of their wealth in a short period. And low-risk investments, like bonds, simply don't offer enough income.

Retirees have less in savings and longer life expectancies than any generation since World War II, and much of their income is tied to the markets. Even those without many financial assets are feeling the pinch of high gas and food prices, and plummeting home values have hurt their largest investment. Almost 40% said they expect to outlive their savings.