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Start Saving: Don't Count On Social Security!

You may remember a recent survey I posted about the life expectancy of Americans reaching an all-time high -- almost 78 years -- due to a drop in death rates from major diseases such as heart disease and cancer. But researchers were also quite concerned a longer American lifespan could further cripple a Social Security system already on life support.

If you're worried there will still be enough money left in Social Security to help bankroll your retirement, however, you're looking in the wrong place. Chances are you may not have enough already saved for retirement, even though you may believe otherwise, according to the latest Retirement Confidence Survey.

Sixty-five percent of American workers are confident they'll have enough funds at the end of their working careers to retire, down slightly from a 68 percent rating last year. But the facts show otherwise. Truth is, most people haven't saved nearly enough. Some 52 percent of the Americans surveyed have set aside less than $25,000 for retirement. Slightly more than a fifth have saved more than $100,000 and most of those people, like me, are over 45.

Debt is another major hurdle for about 20 percent of those who were surveyed. And more than 50 percent of the respondents carry some credit card debt.

As I recommended earlier, plan your retirement as if Social Security will not be there for you and optimize your health so you can work and earn your own income. Rather than worrying about what the government will or won't be able to do for you, take preventative measures and get as healthy as you can right now to avoid the likelihood of chronic diseases associated with aging.

Following these guidelines will be a powerful way to avoid premature aging and improve your health in your old age so you can far exceed the U.S. national average life expectancy. And they are as easy as remembering my name...

Besides, aren't you worth the investment?

Employee Benefit Research Institute April 5, 2005 Free Full-Text Surveys

USA Today April 5, 2005

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