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Charles Karriker: Retirement interrupted
Retired, 57, Hampton, Ark.

I retired about 12 years ago after thinking that I had enough of a "nest egg" to live comfortably. My home was mine (no mortgage... thank God!) and life was good - until lately.

I have most of my money invested in relatively "safe" mutual funds, but the value of those has steadily gone down to where I have considered going back to work. I realize that I am still much better off than many Americans but I have seen the plans that I made 10 to12 years ago become unrealistic in the present economic situation.

At the moment, I live in a rural area which unfortunately has very limited job opportunities for someone with my educational background (psychology). I can't afford to move to an area where I might actually be able to find a good job. And after having been out of the job market for 12 years - and considering my age - there are few places which will give me serious consideration as a potential employee.

There are certainly many, many people who have much worse problems than I do, but the state of the U.S. economy is having a negative effect on everyone. I will probably be able to weather the storm IF the economy begins to turn itself around fairly soon. If it does not, I am completely uncertain as to whether or not I will eventually be working the graveyard shift at the local convenience store just to keep the bills paid.

NEXT: Candace Schultz: Everything at risk
Last updated November 15 2009: 6:21 AM ET
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