Jean Chatzky
Some people are being told to put away too much money for the future, and as a result, aren't living as well as they could be today, says economist Larry Kotlikoff. Jean talks with Larry, author of Spend 'Til the End: The Revolutionary Guide to Raising Your Living Standard—Today and When You Retire, about how to determine how much money you really should be saving for retirement.

Larry says the retirement savings calculators at most financial institutions overestimate the amount of money you need to save. He says those same institutions then induce you to buy high-yield but very risky equity funds in order to hit a target that's already too high to begin with.

Larry says individuals should focus on the following three points rather than an unrealistic retirement savings goal set by a self-serving financial institution:
  • Secure a smooth financial ride over the course of your lifetime. You don't want to splurge today and starve tomorrow, or vice versa—you want balance, Larry says. Make the right moves with investments, Social Security, 401(k) plans and more, he says.
  • Protect your standard of living. Do not overpay for things like life insurance, Larry says.
  • Get the highest living standard out of your current resources. Look at whether things like paying for college or taking out a mortgage will help or hurt your standard of living, Larry says.
The information provided here is general advice and you should always consult your own financial adviser before making major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio. The opinions expressed by the hosts, guests and callers to Oprah Radio are strictly their own.


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