Go ahead and book those travel plans

Seems plausible, but economists Alan Gustman and Nahid Tabatabai of Dartmouth College and Thomas Steinmeier of Texas Tech argue otherwise. In a recent study, they conclude that the stock market declines of 2008 and 2009 will not result in massive losses for the typical near-retiree. In fact, they may postpone their retirement by only a month and a half, on average, and in some cases may even accelerate it.

Written by: Jessica Behnham

You've probably seen the commercial: A bald, 50-something white guy sits in a coffee shop in the middle of the day, instant- messaging on his laptop while sipping from his cup. A message pops up: "Remember how we used to say 'WHEN' we retire, like it was a sure thing?" He smiles ruefully. "I know," he responds. "Then it became a lot of 'WILL WE' retire."

His unidentified correspondent then delivers the dagger: "How do we get from 'WILL WE' back to 'WHEN WE'?" Our protagonist looks into the distance, pensive and worried, while the reassuring voice of the John Hancock investment firm offers you advice.

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