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Making Do With Less is the 'New Retirement'
CNBC.com | October 26, 2010 | 12:28 PM EDT

Your investments may not have gained as much as anticipated. Uncertainty about the future tax impact could further cut into returns. Meanwhile, health care costs continue to rise.

Many Americans in their 50s and 60s are living for today, without thinking about the consequences.

A survey released this week by the Society of Actuaries found that more than two-thirds of pre-retirees, ages 50 to 64, said they could manage only a 1 percent to 5 percent increase in annual health care costs during retirement.

Yet, according to the latest estimates by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, heath care costs are expected to rise 6.3 percent annually, on average, until 2019.

Longer life expectancies, rising health care costs and dwindling investment portfolios could be devastating to the personal finances of pre-retirees, unless serious changes are made in retirement planning.

So where should you start? How do you make changes? Make do with less.

For John Robbins, 63, a former multi-millionaire from his self-made fortune as a best-selling author and natural lifestyle guru, living on less has become a necessity, after he lost nearly his entire net worth.

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