Seniors Fret Over Financial Futures, Study Finds
More than 80 percent of seniors are worried about the impact of the nation's financial crisis on their retirement savings, a new study found on Tuesday. The study, sponsored by retirement services provider Golden Gateway Financial, suggests that more than half of those over the age of 65 are considering a return to the workforce or delaying their retirement plans. For its part, Golden Gateway Financial reported that the percentage of incoming calls to its offices involving senior citizens facing foreclosure rose nearly 200 percent in the last three months. "Older Americans are aggressively searching for ways to gain control over and offset losses that might be near to impossible to recover in their lifetimes," said Eric Bachman, founder and CEO of Golden Gateway. Over 60 percent of those over 65 years of age said that the current financial crisis has permanently hurt their retirement savings , with more than one quarter of survey respondents saying they have borrowed against their home or are trying to sell it to generate income (the survey did not discriminate between owner-occupied and investment homes, and we'd suggest that a fair number of Boomer real estate investors -- not a small crowd -- are absolutely looking at sales to retain some wealth). Of course, a majority of seniors also said they are now considering reverse mortgages as a way to tap into their home's equity -- given that cash-out refis aren't really an option for most borrowers. "As savings accounts continue to shrink, alternatives such as reverse mortgages are an even more attractive and natural way for senior citizens to make retirement easier," said Thomas Davidoff, assistant professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. The independent online survey, conducted with Crestwood Associates in partnership with Golden Gateway Financial, polled more than 800 adult homeowners aged 65 or older from around the country. Write to Paul Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.