Retirees' nest eggs take a hit in Wall Street debacle

Miami HeraldSeptember 25, 2008 

Like many American retirees, Gerry Lackey is fretting over how the turmoil in the financial markets will crimp his plans.

The retired lawyer, who counts on savings and investments for about half his income, has watched in dismay as major stock markets plummeted about 19 percent this year. "I don't know if I have enough years to allow the market to come back.''

Retirees like Lackey, 69, who depend on investment income to help buy groceries and pay the bills, are among the most vulnerable groups scrambling for cover in the current market upheaval. South Florida, with its wealth of retirees, may suffer disproportionately because of its large number of older souls whose financial well being is closely tied to Wall Street.

''This whole debacle is so much harder on older people -- approaching retirement and those in retirement,'' said Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. "They're jammed: They don't have the time and space to bounce back like someone in their 30s or 40s.''

South Florida financial advisors and estate and trust attorneys say they are fielding numerous inquiries from nervous seniors.

Read the complete story at miamiherald.com

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