“Saving for retirement early and often is part of the common financial wisdom. But those nest eggs aren’t always enough.

Some baby boomers like Dorry Clay, a graphic designer and illustrator, set aside money for decades. Then unexpected costs arise. Ms. Clay learned she had cancer and raided her retirement account to cover chemotherapy.

“That wiped out my savings and added new debt,” said Ms. Clay, 54, of Stonington, Conn., who also lost her job in the 2008 economic crisis. “I expect I’ll be working until I am 70 or older because I can’t afford to retire.”

Others, like Barbara Perrin, 68, of Eugene, Ore., thought they were investing for their futures in other ways. Ms. Perrin handled the accounting and marketing for her husband’s work as an artist. After a divorce, she saved diligently from her new job and “sank it into the best investment I knew — a house.”

“But it is now underwater, and eating away what savings I have left,” she said.

Such stories have caught the attention of officials who worry that financially unprepared seniors could become a big drain on state and federal coffers.” -New York Times

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