Golden Years Looking Grim to Some

Retirement is often called the "golden years" -- a time to kick back, relax and enjoy life after decades of hard work and saving money.

But millions of baby boomers face a harsh new reality that's not so golden; an uncertain economy means many can't afford to retire.

Betty and Richard Greenspan thought that when they turned 65, they'd be fully retired and setting sail on their dream boat.

"We wanted to have a lot of time to travel and just have a good time," Betty said.

At this point, retirement has been postponed. At 65, Betty still works three jobs, as a nurse, florist and realtor. Richard continues to work full time as a dentist.


"We couldn't anticipate that the economy would be acting the way it is," Richard said.

Like many couples their age, the Greenspans thought they'd done everything right. They saved, they invested, they bought real estate.

But two of their recent investments -- condominiums they purchased for $500,000 apiece -- have both lost over $100,000 in the past year.

"The rug was pulled out from under us," Betty said.

The Greenspans are hardly alone. A new retirement survey found the number of Americans who are confident they will have enough money to retire, dropped dramatically in the last year -- from 27 percent to 18 percent.

Nationally, the number of workers in the United States, aged 65 and over, rose more than 1.5 percent in the last year alone, meaning a million more seniors are retiring later.

"Right now, people are incredibly nervous about retirement. In fact, confidence among people ready to retire is the lowest it's been in 18 years," said Lauren Young, the personal finance editor for Business Week magazine.

For the Greenspans, all is not lost. They'll still retire, just later than expected. They plan to set sail within the next three years -- when, they hope, the economy has stabilized.

"It's on hold. It's just delayed a year or two or five, whatever it takes," said Richard Greenspan. "I think the time will come."