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The Upside of Aging: A Call for Action to Improve Retirement Readiness

Cover of the book, The Upside of Aging.

"This may be the first time in history where someone spends more years in retirement than in a traditional working career." — Dan Houston

Facing an aging population of unprecedented size, Dan Houston, president of retirement, insurance and financial services at the Principal Financial Group®, calls for action to meet the challenges of funding retirements that could last 30, even 40 years. Houston is among 16 thought-leaders contributing chapters to The Upside of Aging. The book examines the opportunity and potential of an "aging revolution across the world."

Key Points in Houston’s chapter: Financial Security: Longevity Changes Everything


The new retirement:

  • Retirement has become a new phase of exploration and discovery that could last 20, 30 even 40 years.
  • Longer lifespans come with a significant cost—one that has to be funded.
  • Actions are needed to ensure aging is a time of fulfillment as opposed to financial stress.

A firm foundation:

  • Armed with the right savings vehicles, sound guidance and self-discipline, over the next two decades, 90 percent of workers can be on track for a secure retirement.
  • The current defined contribution system offers the foundation necessary for success.
  • Important efforts are already underway to make that system work even better for more people.

Plan of action:

  • Workers, employers, financial professionals, investment managers, plan service providers and policy makers must take action to ensure a path to retirement security.
  • Financial wellbeing in later years not only benefits each stakeholder, but the economy and society as a whole.
  • Everyone is better off when experienced elders have the financial freedom to continue contributing as mentors, entrepreneurs and community advocates.

Learn More

Dan Houston

Dan Houston blogs:

By embracing the challenges of aging as opportunities, we can be the architects of the upside of aging.


Insurance products and plan administrative services are provided by Principal Life Insurance Company a member of the Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®), Des Moines, IA 50392.

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