Paranoia is sweeping an entire generation, and it’s all about the fear of waking up broke in our 80s.

(Spoiler Alert: I’m going to show you why it doesn’t have to be that way…)

Most baby boomers are coming to the painful realization that retirement isn’t going to be about sleeping in late and crossing items off a bucket list…

Rather, if you count retirement as 20 to 30 years of unemployment… the reality of what decades without a job means becomes painfully clear.

But if you haven’t completely ignored funding your 401(k) or IRA, and you can stick it out to age 70 in the workforce, the news is actually better than you might think.

Even if you’ve put off any kind of retirement funding, it is not too late to do something to improve your lot.

The fact is, if your health allows you to work until age 70 and you manage  the last five years of employment properly, it’s likely your prospects for a decent retirement can be significantly improved.

Imagine you’re a 65-year-old who has done an okay job with their retirement savings and has $250,000 put away. Not a fortune, but enough – and, if properly managed, it could do more to alleviate your retirement fears than you might think.

If you use the 4% rule and withdraw 4% from your investments every year, you end up with $10,000 in income the first year. That amount should increase each year due to the inflation rate.

When you add the $2,300 from your monthly Social Security Administration benefit at your full retirement age – 65 or 66 – you have a tidy sum of $37,600 a year.

Not a fortune, but if you don’t have a huge mortgage obligation, most of us can survive and even have a little fun with that amount.

But here’s where taking advantage of our longer life expectancies and working just five years past your full retirement age really kicks this number in the pants… to the tune ofa 77% increase in income.

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