Millions of baby boomers are getting caught in the country’s broken retirement system

They went to work every day and built a life for themselves, put money away in a savings plan and paid their taxes. And then they got divorced or hurt on the job or sick or widowed or just plain unlucky — and found themselves in the same boat as millions of Americans who are now approaching retirement with most of the financial props knocked out from under them.

As the big bulge of baby boomers head into old age, as many as half are coming face-to-face with a new American economic reality: Retirement means a descent into relative hard times, because the systems put in place when this generation was just entering its peak earning years have failed.

The Washington Post