By Annalyn Censky | – Fri, Mar 23, 2012 1:08 PM EDT

The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates near zero since 2008, but the economic boost comes at the expense of these savers.

Canceling vacation plans

Henry Baker III, 75
Jacksonville, Fla.

Henry Baker IIIJust a few years ago, I was earning 4.7% interest on my $80,000 in savings. The income paid for a week-long vacation for me and my wife, plus more.

In 2011, that rate dropped down to 0.15%. It's ridiculous!

I took everything out of CDs at the beginning of this year when my bank closed (another unfortunate sign of the times), and I went to a bank that offered a special checking account with a 0.5% interest rate.

Within six weeks of opening that account, it dropped to 0.35%. That said, it's still better than any other investments I can find, including bonds.

About a quarter of my net worth is in that checking account. The rest of my funds are invested in mutual funds and a few individual stocks.

When a retiree today loses investment value, they have to pull from somewhere to meet their expenses. As you trim interest rates, it starts hitting us in the pocket.

I don't even know if we're going to make a trip this summer.

Cutting back on spending

Julie MoscoveJulie Moscove, 69
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

After being burned in the stock market, my money is almost entirely in savings.

At one point, it was being built up by good interest rates, and now it's barely moving. CDs and money market funds offer next to nothing. I earn half of a percent or less.

The baby boomers are the ones who supposedly have all the money, but we're not regenerating this money because the Fed is keeping interest rates so low.

As a result, we're not creating the spending that will grow the economy. In fact, I've had to cut back on my spending. Now, I only get what I need -- no luxuries.

Shifting back to stocks

David BothDavid Both, 65
Raleigh, N.C.

Keeping interest rates low encourages investment in other things, like stocks -- and I understand that's part of the objective.

Before the recession, my wife and I had about a quarter of our funds in a money market account that earned around 3.25% in interest each year.

Our original intent was to build up that savings, but when the economy started changing, our interest rate fell to around 0.25%.

I started shifting money to stocks. Now we keep only 8% in savings. It's not a lot of money, but it's enough that if we had an emergency, we could use it immediately. We'll also use part of it to pay for our 25th anniversary trip to Tuscany this fall.

Investing in stocks gets capital to businesses, and that could put people back to work. From my standpoint, that's a worthy goal. If you put people back to work, that helps the entire economy.

Taking on more risk

See what Al Turk of Brooklyn has to say:

Central planning at its finest - hurting the elderly. Hurting those who are trying to save for their children's future..... Liberals love the Fed... The same Fed that's hurting the little guy.