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Do you have enough to retire? Special To The Star-news | Sat, Jan 08 2011 12:00 PM

(NAPS) - The United States Census Bureau projects the average American's life expectancy to be 78.3 years, the highest it's ever been. Five years ago, the average life expectancy was just over 77 years and experts project it will continue to rise.

With Americans living longer - and therefore facing many additional years in active retirement- financial planning has never been more critical.

Experts recognize that not knowing exactly how long you will live, however, makes it difficult to determine how much money will be needed to comfortably retire. Annuities can bridge the gap in a retirement planning strategy.

"Traditionally, people underestimate how long they'll live and overestimate the value of a large lump-sum balance sitting in a retirement account," says Chris Littlefield, president and CEO of life insurance and annuity provider Aviva USA. "One way to avoid outliving your money is with an annuity that offers the benefit of guaranteed income for life."

Living longer, living well

Through financial planning, life insurance and retirement advisers encourage clients to define-to the best of their ability-future income needs. In addition, retirees should remember the benefit of taking a diversified approach.

That is why many people nearing retirement are taking a hard look at, and incorporating annuities into, their retirement strategy. Annuities are a sound financial tool to ensure a level of income security, and help people avoid the potential of becoming a financial burden on their loved ones.

As every person's financial situation is unique, choosing tools that provide lifetime income is a subject that should be discussed with a qualified financial adviser.

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