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“Live long and prosper” – Watson Wyatt

GLOBAL – Watson Wyatt Worldwide vice president Steve Vernon says people can still “Live Long & Prosper” – the title of his new book about retirement.

Vernon says full-time retirement at age 65 may not be the best way to achieve happiness, according to a new book by Steve Vernon. In "Live Long & Prosper! Invest in Your Happiness, Health and Wealth for Retirement and Beyond," Vernon puts forward “a new model for retirement that includes part-time work and effective financial strategies for living a prosperous, fulfilling ‘rest-of-life’”.

"The 20th century model of retirement - that is, work hard at a job you may not like very much, then retire full-time, preferably in your late 50s or early 60s - no longer applies," Vernon said.

He added it is much more realistic and healthy to move beyond the traditional view of retirement, given longer life expectancies, low savings rates among baby boomers, rising health care costs, potential cutbacks in Social Security and various other trends.

"Most Americans do not have the resources to retire in their early 60s and then live comfortably for an additional 20 to 30 years. But that doesn't have to be a threat to our happiness."

He calls for working part-time into our late 60s, 70s, or even longer, but doing work that is interesting and fulfilling. It also includes taking care of our health and adopting financial strategies that ensure we don't outlive our retirement savings.

"Steps that we take in our 40s, 50s and 60s will have a profound influence on our happiness, health and financial well-being in our 70s, 80s and 90s," says Vernon.

The book – published by John Wiley & Sons – is based on hundreds of interviews and the latest Watson Wyatt research on phased retirement, demographics and financial models. The title refers to a phrase made popular in the ‘Star Trek’ TV series.

"In 30 years, we'll likely see that the 'dids' and 'did-nots' have become the 'haves' and 'have- nots.' That is, those who prepare for their rest-of-life will be prosperous and fulfilled during those years," Vernon said.

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