Money Matters

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Those of us who see retirement in the not too distant future may be freaked out about the recession. the good news is there are still ways to save for retirement during these troubled economic times according to a recent survey. .

A Bank of America 2008 retirement survey found four in ten Americas say they will stay in the workforce longer than expected because of the economy.

Almost one in five people have withdrawn retirement assets prematurely to pay down debt.

Here's what you should so according to the author:

1. Scale back spending Six of ten respondents say they're spending less than they were three months ago. Three in ten call their spending sharply lower.

2. Put the money in the bank instead. It's hard to do though. Half the survey respondents say they're saving less than they were three months ago. Two in ten said much less.

3. Sail on by 65. Some 43% of respondents said they are delaying retirement age. Three out of ten over 50 years-old said they expect to retire much later. While three out of ten are considering a post retirement job.

4. Don't stop investing. Two thirds of consumers say they haven't changed the way they save for retirement. How much risk depends on your age and your risk tolerance.

5. Don't touch the retirement account. About one in five or 20% of respondents have pulled money out of retirement accounts early. That should only be done as a last resort. The penalties are steep and when the market turns around you'll have fewer dollars working for you.

The bottom line is, it's OK to be concerned. But, don't let fear lead you to make decisions that will hurt your long term bottom line.

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