The Not-So-Golden Years

This month, the first baby boomers officially reached retirement age, and they're in a gloomy mood. A Pew Research Center survey last month found that 80 percent of the nation's 79 million boomers are dissatisfied with the way things are going today—more than members of any other age group. This may reflect that 60 percent of Americans aged 50 to 61 think they might need to delay retirement because of the recession, according to a May 2010 Pew survey. Fully 57 percent of boomers said their household finances have deteriorated in the past few years, more than any other generation surveyed.

Sinking home equity, rising health-care costs, and low returns on most investments have left boomers near retirement confronting a pile of financial worries instead of happy visions of golf, grandchildren, and travel. Here are some potential financial disasters facing this generation—and tips on how to avoid them.
 
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