The net worth of median households in the 45 to 54 age bracket has dropped by more than 45 percent since 2004, to just over $80,000. Households headed by those aged 55 to 64, meanwhile, have lost 38 percent of net wealth. (Source: "Is the Future Going Down the Drain? Baby Boomers Going Bust," by Alexander Zaitchik. AlterNet. March 6, 2009.)

Many people are turning to taking in boarders and to finding boarding houses, so to speak.

This retirement alternative-housing arrangement comes on the heels of more bad news for individual pension funding.

A wave of US companies are suspending payments to their staff 401(k) retirement plans in a bid to cut costs amid the economic downturn.

Saks, General Motors, newspaper group McClatchy, clothing company J.Crew, FedEx, UPS, Coca-Cola Bottling, Reader's Digest, Motorola, Regions Financial and Sprint Nextel are among the growing list of companies which have suspended contributions in recent months. (Source: "US companies pull out of retirement contributions," by Deborah Brewster. Financial Times. March 10 2009.)

Tom Usher

About Tom Usher

Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.