They are outliving their expectations

Life expectancy for men has jumped an average of almost two years in each of the past five decades, to 75.7 years in 2010, according to the Society of Actuaries. For women, life expectancy has risen by 1.5 years, on average, to 80.8 years.

Yet more than half of older Americans haven't gotten the memo. A Society of Actuaries survey of 1,600 adults age 45 to 80 found 40% underestimated their likely average longevity by five years or more; 20% were too pessimistic by two to four years.

"That means there's a 50% chance you'll live longer," says Cindy Levering, an actuary and co-author of the report. "If you make it to 90 and only planned and saved enough for 85, you may not have enough to live on."

The odds that will happen are pretty good. For a couple with above-average health, there's a 60% chance one of them will live to age 90, the Social Security Administration has reported.

They are providing financial support

Some 58% of boomers are providing financial assistance to aging parents, such as helping them buy groceries or pay medical and utility bills, according to an Ameriprise Financial survey of just over 1,000 Americans conducted in late 2011.

When it comes to their kids, boomers are even more ready to help out.

Almost all boomers surveyed -- 93% -- say they have given their children a hand. A majority have "boomerang kids" who have moved back home to live rent-free (55%) or afford a car (53%).

But only one-third believed that supporting adult children was making it more difficult for them to reach their retirement goals.

"They're not connecting the dots," says Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial. "They may not be taking money out of their retirement accounts to help their kids, but the assistance is coming out of funds that otherwise could be additional savings."

They aren't running to Florida

Boomers aren't embracing the Florida-Arizona axis of retirement to the extent their parents did. Counties known as retirement havens slowed their annual population growth to 1.7% from 2007 to 2009, compared with 3.1% between 2000 and 2007.

Instead, the Urban Land Institute found that the metro areas with the fastest-growing population of 65-plus residents include locations in North Carolina, Texas and Nevada, as well as Colorado, Idaho and Georgia.

Boomers are attracted to communities with large universities and affordable housing, says John McIlwain, senior resident fellow for housing at the institute and author of the report.

The biggest draw affecting relocation? The kids.

"If you want to find out where a boomer couple will be moving to, find out where their oldest daughter lives. It's the pull of the grandkids," he said.

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