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The behavior behind living longer

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It can be hard to imagine yourself in the future. Here, behavioral expert and professor Dan Gilbert helps us understand what to expect, and why it creates some new challenges for retirement.

The Pulse of the Challenge Lab
What age do experts suggest planning to?


You may see your future self as a stranger, but the truth is you’re the same person, so you’re bound to have a lot in common. So shouldn’t you take care of future you?


Trying to figure out exactly how much money you’ll need to retire is difficult. Let alone trying to make that amount last for potentially 30 or 40 years. Luckily, there is another way to think about planning for retirement.


See if you can guess how much money you might need for a retirement that could last 30 or 40 years.

  • How much money do you think you might need when you retire?

  • How much money do you think you might need when you retire?

    Tell us your current age and how old you think you'll be when you retire.

    Enter a number to guess your total.

  • How did we calculate this?
    To calculate how many years it might take to spend your guessed amount
    in retirement, we used your age, years until retirement, and inflation rate
    of 3%, and average spending data from the 2012 Expenditure Survey.

    Based on national spending averages,

    $1,500,000 will likely be spent by the age of 76.

    Come up a little short? Guessing how much money you might need
    to save for retirement that could last 30 or 40 years is pretty hard.
    A good place to start: Think about how many years you may live in
    retirement and how much income you'll need each year.

    There are two steps you can take to help
    make sure your money lasts.

    1. Create a retirement income strategy 2. Maximize
    social security
    Learn how annuities can help keep your money growing in
    retirement, and turn a lump sum into guaranteed income that
    lasts for as long as you live. See more →
    If you are entitled to collect income from Social Security,
    there are steps you can take to help you maximize your benefit.
    To learn more, watch this video →

    Find a Financial Professional to get complete details.

    Find a financial professional
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Preparing Your Brain for a Longer Life

A recent study showed that our brain is wired to see our future self as a stranger. The good news is, now that we understand this tendency, we can do something about it.

Put your retirement on the map

Where do you want to retire? And what will your life be like? Find out how much your retirement will cost in over 300 cities, suburbs and small towns all across America.

Map My Retirement

How Much Longer Are We Living?

Check out these amazing facts about the future of longevity.

Innovations That Have Led To Longer Lives

Here, we feature a collection of some major milestones that have helped shape our modern lifespan.

Timeline of Innovations

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The secrets to a longer life

There are a lot of ways to live longer. Here are a few you might not have expected.

Longevity experiment

Watch the video to see the results

Watch the experiment

Play video 'Longevity experiment: '

We conducted an experiment where we asked 400 people to show us the age of the oldest person they've known. Watch the video to see the results.

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