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I'm saving a lot but will still fall short - what now?

Consider other alternatives that can reduce how much you need to save. The most obvious one: Think about delaying retirement by a few years. That strategy will allow you make more contributions to your retirement accounts while postponing withdrawals - which could significantly increase the size of your nest egg even as it reduces the amount you need to accumulate to make it through retirement.

For example, if you retire today at age 65 with $500,000 in retirement savings and withdraw $43,000 a year, your savings likely would last until you reached age 90. But if you delay retirement for another five years and max out your IRA contributions during that period, you would retire at 70 with $772,680 saved. That nest egg would let you withdraw $72,000 a year until age 90. (Calculations assume an 8% annual return on your investments.) So by delaying your retirement just five years, you can increase your retirement income by nearly $30,000 a year.

Getting a part-time job after you retire also can make a big financial difference - and can provide mental, physical and emotional benefits as well. Other options include trading down to a less-expensive home (you can invest the profits toward retirement), reining in your spending or transforming the equity in your home into income by taking out a reverse mortgage - though high costs mean this last option is a good idea for only a small number of retirees.

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