1. At retirement, your whole financial life becomes one question: Will you outlive your money or will your money outlive you? There are only these two options. One: dignity and freedom, the other, dependence and frustration.

2. A 62-year old couple has a joint life expectancy of 30 years. Speaking plainly: if you and your spouse are 62, somebody’s gonna live to 92.

3. If inflation rolls along as it has in the past, the cost of living in 3 decades will be 2 and a half times what it is now. Therefor:

4. If you don’t have a plan to increase your income in retirement, then what you have is a plan to run out of money.

My mission is to help people make and stick to the right kind of plan. So here are some hard truths:

5. Pensions are nearly gone. That means, for nearly all of us, increasing income means investing in retirement.

6. The three most important words in investing are, “Stay the Course.”

7. That means your investing plan needs to make mathematical sense, needs to take into account financial history, and it needs to be acceptable to your emotional make up. You need a plan where you won’t panic when things inevitably go badly, and you won’t get angry when things go well and you aren’t getting rich like “everybody else.”

8. Predictions do not work.

9. Because predictions don’t work, the only way to sensibly invest is to diversify as broadly as possible.

10. Stocks are businesses, and bonds are loans, to businesses or governments. Owning a globally diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds is the most efficient and the most prudent way to invest in retirement.

11. Behavior dominates investment returns. Smart investors rebalance their diversified portfolios. As the world’s markets go up and down and all around, good investors constantly return to their original plan. Unfortunate investors get swayed by news, or by gurus, and fritter to and fro, buying high and selling low. Be a smart investor and rebalance.

12. Life is always more uncertain, and nowhere near as bad, as people believe. In the long run, only optimism is rational.