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Although most Americans look fondly towards retirement, most also have their share of concerns that their savings won’t be enough to allow them to live comfortably.  And this fear is certainly warranted.

Given today’s life expectancy, an individual could need a guaranteed source of income for as much as 30 years, or even more, in retirement.  A lot can happen in that amount of time.

The American College of Financial Service recently identified some of those risks that can jeopardize a retirement nest egg (18 of them in fact).  Here are the top 5.

1. Market Volatility –  Not only is this the biggest threat to an individual’s retirement savings and the income it produces, many people’s accounts feature investments far too risky for someone approaching or entering retirement.  In many cases, an annuity may help lower those risks.  Tax diversification, in the form of multiple types of accounts, can offer more options for drawing income based on market conditions.

2.  Longevity – It seems odd to list a long life as a risk, but from a retirement savings standpoint it is a considerable one.  Since a meager amount of Social Security is the only guaranteed form of lifetime income, it’s imperative to make sure there are other sources to provide it.  One example is a qualified longevity annuity contract (QLAC), which allows account holders to postpone their distributions and spread them out over time.

3. Health Care Expenses – A healthy 65-year-old couple retiring today can expect to spend around $395,000 on health care costs in retirement.  Fast forward 10 years, and that number is closer to $464,000.  Health savings accounts are a great way to cover these costs with tax-free income.  Medicare supplement insurance and Medicare Part D can also help with these expenses.

4.  Inflation – This one’s inevitable, but one way to combat it is by choosing investment products that offer inflation protection.  Bond laddering is another strategy to mimic the income generation of an annuity without the fees or surrender charges.

5.  Long-term Care – An estimated 70% of those over age 65 will end up needing some sort of long-term care, such as a nursing home, during their lifetime.  Like everything else the cost for this support is rising, but it’s currently around $3,500 per month for assisted living.  Tools for combatting this risk include traditional long-term care insurance or newer hybrid products that offer coverage alongside an annuity or life insurance.

You can read more about these risks and the ways you can protect against them by clicking here.