Reality-check your retirement plans

Book Review: 'Retirementology: Rethinking the American Dream in a New Economy'

It is my real estate fixation, perhaps, that has led me to believe that most people use the phrase "The American Dream" to refer to homeownership or the happily-married-with-two-kids-a-dog-and-a-housedom vision. We all know that version of the American Dream — or at least the house and kids elements thereof — has undergone a wholesale rethink in light of the foreclosure crisis and the recession.

However, it is also logical to conclude that the retirement plans and dreams of many Americans have also been undone and rethought, in light of portfolio plummeting recessionary forces, and advances in American life expectancies.

Many who were planning to retire at 65 are now accepting that they might work the rest of their lives or, at the very least, are being faced with some hard decisions about when, where and how they will ever be able to retire.