Bust through retirement roadblocks

There are plenty of obstacles along the route to retirement. These three couples found strategic ways to get around theirs.

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Roadblock: Loss of income
Roadblock: Loss of income
Laura Liebeck and William Smith, 53 and 59, live with their two children in upstate New York. She is a freelance writer; he is a human resources trainer.
Name: Laura Liebeck and William Smith
Location: Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
Nest egg: $95,000
$190,000

PROBLEM: Smith was laid off from an HR director position in 2007, and Liebeck, who's self-employed, lost half her income in the recession.

Smith found a new job, but their income is still down 40%. Scrambling to pay bills, they can't afford to save. "We'd love retirement to be a possibility," Liebeck says, "but I just don't see it."

SOLUTION: The couple should refinance their 15-year, 5.25% mortgage, $29,000 HELOC, and a loan for their daughter's college into a 30-year loan, says Montrose, N.Y., financial adviser Maureen Whelan.

This will save $1,000 a month, which they can stash for retirement. Doing that, they'll have $475,000 by the time Smith is 67, Whelan says. Plus, they'll have enough home equity to sell and buy a smaller house with cash.

NEXT: Roadblock: A mortgage

Last updated September 29 2010: 10:55 AM ET
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