While mutual fund and other financial service firms would have the public believe they are heading into disastrous retirements, the Congressional Budget Office recently reviewed 21 reports and concluded that half of Americans will be able to maintain their lifestyles in retirement, 25% will face hardship and the remaining 25% could go either way, The Arizona Republic Reports.

But the ability to live comfortably in retirement hinges on whether seniors will be able to maintain their health so that they can work and/or avoid expensive medical costs, noted Jonathan Pond, a financial planner and commentator on PBS who has a book pending on the subject. Pond and other financial advisers also agree that many retirees will not be able to afford expensive hobbies like golf.

More likely than not, they will have to sell their homes and either move to less costly quarters or rent out a room in their home, he said. "The trump card is what happens to the family home," Pond said. "There's a huge amount of equity in our houses that can be tapped into.

"I'm not minimizing the problems that some people have," Pond added, "but the situation isn't so bad as the financial services industry asserts. I want to advance the notion that it isn't hopeless."

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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