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Adjust Your Time Horizon

The second piece of advice is to not become overwhelmed with the longevity issue. First, accept the fact that you will probably work longer than your parents — likely to age 70. Then don’t worry about living to 95 — which is always a possibility. Instead, focus on the actuarial tables that say “on average,” you’re likely to live to somewhere around 83. That shortens your focus and makes planning more doable.

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But what if you’re one of those who do live longer? Easy answer: You can take some of your money and buy a “longevity annuity” (more on that in my next column), which starts paying out at age 83 and will give you a monthly check for as long as you live. That “deferred payout” will not only be larger than an immediate annuity; it will help cover the extended expenses of living longer.

Trade Today for Tomorrow

And, of course, there is still the importance of saving more. How much more depends on your situation. But spending less today and saving more for tomorrow is not a dollar-for-dollar tradeoff. Instead, the money you don’t spend can be invested to work for you over the years. The earlier you make this decision, the better because time leverages money.

Falk says it’s important to keep your mind focused on these simple principles because the average person gets overwhelmed by the complicated — and simply gives up!

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This is about as simple as it can be. It’s worth viewing the above link again because it really will give you the confidence to do something about retirement. And that’s The Savage Truth.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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