My grandfather was an exceptionally successful door to door Kirby vacuum salesman. He was one of the few people I have ever met that had a true golden tongue. However, on top of that he really cared for others.
The guy could knock on any door and make a new friend, and sell a Kirby.
He made a pretty good living and relied on typical means of investing--401k's and IRA's--for his retirement.
Now, had he planned to retire in 1999 he might have gotten wise, moved all his investments into a safe place, and been just fine.
But he wanted to keep working so he continued to push his retirement back.
What happened was tragic.
The 2001 market bubble popped right before his eyes. What would have been a perfectly modest retirement became half of that and he had no choice but to keep working.
He wasn't the only one. Many individuals ran into this issue.