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If you tell a story long enough people start believing it. The more I hear advisors talk about what the future of wealth will be for Americans, the more it sounds like Greek mythology rather than a realistic scenario.

Here is the number one lie that advisors tell themselves and the rest of the world about retirement. Just like Zeus, Poseidon, and Hera, it’s pure fiction. Here’s the fairy tale, why it’s false, and what advisors should do about it.

The biggest retirement myth known to mankind

We’ve all said it before.

“Nowadays people are living until they’re 90!”

Come on, you’ve said it, or some variation. Everyone is living longer, many of us are going to live until 90 or you could be retired for the next 30 years. It’s great to say if you’re an advisor trying to make a case to some unsuspecting pre-retiree or retiree about how they need to buy a big ole’ annuity or buy your financial planning services so they know how much cash flow they’ll need in a gazillion years.

But there’s one fact, one teeny tiny morsel of data, this itsy bitsy truth staring America in the face that blows up the entire diamond-studded marketing pitch.

The reality:

The simple fact that 39% (or more, in some cases) of US adults are obese means that many Americans aren’t going to live as long as everyone says they are.