A longer life span means that many Americans are not prepared for a long retirement. A major problem facing the U.S. today is that even people who think they have saved more than enough for retirement, might need to evaluate their own plans and save more, according to The New York Times in "Rethinking Retirement for Longer Lives With Fewer Safety Nets." Many recent studies report that the average American has saved far less than experts think they will need. There are many reasons for this situation, but the reasons for not saving are not as important as what it means for future senior citizens. The biggest issue is simply that people, on average, are living longer than ever before. That trend is expected to continue as medical science progresses. No one is certain just how long people will live after retirement in the future. People who have planned to save for 20 years of retirement living might actually need to save for 30, 40 or even more years. This also creates problems for elderly safety nets. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are already under financial stress because of the large number of Baby Boomers entering their retirement years. The longer people live, the more that those programs will need to pay out. Many people believe the programs will have to offer substantially fewer benefits in the future. It may be time to take a fresh look at your retirement plans. Reference: New York Times (Feb. 27, 2017) "Rethinking Retirement for Longer Lives With Fewer Safety Nets."