"It was a staff reduction," she said. "The company is based in Jacksonville, Fla., and they transferred my job back there. Now it looks like I'll be working well into my 70s. I've been working mostly in the mortgage industry since 2001, and I've been laid off several times. It's frustrating."
Her retirement savings have eroded as a result.
Lynch said her balance still exceeds the $12,000 median balance for near-retirement households. But all of those layoffs have forced her to dip into her retirement fund, she said.
Independent retirement adviser Gary Marriage Jr., CEO of Nature Coast Financial Advisors in Florida, warns that many retirees are receiving less than they are due from Social Security because they don't know the rules and the true financial impacts.
Many are eager to retire as early as possible and others fear Social Security retirement benefits will suddenly vanish, so they want to get what they can as quickly as possible -- at age 62.
But if you're counting on those benefits as part of your income, you should wait until you're eligible for the full amount, Marriage said. That's age 66 if you were born from 1943 to 1954, and age 67 if you were born in 1960 or later.
If you're in the older group, retiring at 62 cuts your benefits by a quarter. For the younger group, it's nearly a third.
"Chances are, you'll be better off mentally and physically if you wait anyway," Marriage said. "Many studies show that people live longer and are more vital the longer they remain employed."
The average monthly retirement benefit in June of this year was $1,222.43, according to the Social Security Administration. People born in the 1943 to 1954 group who are eligible for that amount at age 66 will get just $916.82 a month if they retire at 62.
If they live to age 90, that's a total of $308,052. By waiting just four years, they'll net an additional $44,007.
The Federal Reserve's drive to keep interest rates low has also eaten into investors' portfolios.
"If you have CDs, bonds or treasuries you're only getting 1 to 2 percent at best," Ciceri said. "A lot of people are struggling with the idea of how much additional risk they are willing to take on, given that interest rates are so low."
The typical working American household needs to replace roughly 85 percent of its pre-retirement income to maintain its current standard of living in retirement, according to the NIRS report. That rate probably seems high to many. But it doesn't even account for medical costs, which can escalate rapidly during retirement.
"The hope of retirement security is out of reach for many Americans in the face of a crumbling retirement infrastructure," the NIRS report concluded. "The 'American Dream' of retiring after a lifetime of work will be long delayed, if not impossible, for many."
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