For Baby Boomers who were looking forward to retirement, the recession couldn’t have come at a worse time. With lazy days and travel plans nearly within their grasp, many Boomers have seen their retirement dreams slip through their fingers. Since the recession hit, the volatile stock market has decimated retirement funds. Mergers, layoffs and corporate bankruptcies have left many Boomers jobless. The sluggish economy has made long-term unemployment a frightening reality for older workers. Many older Americans on the verge of retirement now face growing debt and wonder if they’ll ever be able to retire.

Financial planners recommend that you plan for at least 20 years of retirement. To maintain your current lifestyle, financial experts say you should save an amount equivalent to one year’s salary for every year of retirement. While that’s great advice if  you are in your 20s, it doesn’t help folks in their 60s who are watching their retirement savings dwindle away as the after effects of the recession drag on. With no time to make up their losses, many Boomers will have to keep working well past retirement age. Even for workers who planned to work into their 70s because they enjoy what they do, work is no longer a choice but a necessity.

What are your options?

In a Chicago Tribune interview earlier this year, Lauence Shatkin, author of 150 Best Jobs for a Secure Future, identified 14 secure jobs for workers age 55-plus (click the link to see the list). Jobs ranged from counselors and psychologists to CEOs and management analysts to educators and community service managers. In jobs where professional experience is an asset, older workers are still in demand; but full-time demand seems to decrease the farther you get from 50. Hiring managers are looking for longevity, something that becomes harder to offer the older you get.

Many Boomers have found a solution to their employment and income problems by  opening a consulting business. Internet job marketplaces such as provide an easy avenue for connecting with clients (click the link to find out how Zoondy works).

To be continued next time