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Will You Outlive Your Money in Retirement?

AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins' new book outlines the importance of saving for retirement. (AARP.org)
AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins' new book outlines the importance of saving for retirement. (AARP.org)
November 28, 2016

MADISON, Wis. – When Social Security began in 1935, the average life expectancy in the United States was 67. Now, with modern medicine, life expectancy in the U.S. has risen to just under 79.

Back in the mid-30s, it was expected that people would retire at 62. Now, many people work well into their 60s and even longer, and that represents some new challenges.

Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP’s CEO, has just written a book titled "Disrupt Aging." She says she had several purposes in mind when writing the book.

"Challenging outdated beliefs about aging, and how do we spark new solutions both personally in our own lives, in the community and also in the private sector about coming up with new products and services that allow each of us to live our best life, regardless of what our age is," she explains.

Jenkins says many people have decided simply to skip retiring, and continue to work because they feel healthy and believe they're still able to make a contribution to society. She says older employees shouldn't be judged by their age, but rather by their skills and experience.

The figures about aging in America are surprising. Jenkins says we're living longer than ever.

"Ten thousand people a day are turning age 65 in this country, and that's going to happen every day for the next 14 years and beyond,” she points out. “The fastest age group segment in this country is people over the age of 85, and the second is over the age of 100."

Because of this, Jenkins says people need to think more carefully about the financial needs they'll have in the future. While living longer gives people the opportunity to do the things they've always dreamed of, it also means having sufficient money for those extra years.

"If you're going to live to be 100, then we need to make sure that we're saving earlier and longer, regardless of how much that is, or how small the amount is that we're saving, because we certainly don't want to outlive our money," she stresses.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI