Working longer is the most obvious solution to the retirement savings problem. Among all of the options available to pre-retirees, it's the one that has the biggest impact on a nest egg, said Judith Ward, a senior financial planning with T. Rowe Price. Working three years longer and contributing 15 percent of income can grow a 401(k) by 22 percent; working five years more can increase savings by 39 percent. Combining more years of work with a bigger retirement-plan contribution (say, 25 percent) has an even more powerful impact.
Of course, not all boomers will be content to continue pounding out 40-hour weeks, said Kerry Hannon, a jobs expert with AARP and author of "Love Your Job: The New Rules for Career Happiness."
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Some will opt for phased retirement schemes, where they're able to cut back on their hours but still stay employed. Depending on the number of hours, they may be able to hold on to crucial health insurance and retirement-plan perks. Most important, however, is that even part-time work can keep boomers from tapping their nest eggs too soon.
However, employers may not be so quick to jump on the phased-retirement bandwagon. "The trend is happening so quickly that employment practices have simply not kept pace with the changing times," Collinson at Transamerica said.