Nine out of 10 retirees identify as happy

As much as I bemoan the fact that most Americans are ill-prepared for retirement, that doesn’t mean people haven’t found a way to make it work, whatever their means. Here’s proof positive:

In a recent Transamerica study, 90% of retirees said that they're enjoying their lives despite the financial challenges retirement typically presents. What this tells me is that if you're among the countless older workers who are behind on savings, you don't need to resign yourself to an unsatisfying, impoverished retirement. Rather, you can take steps to work around your circumstances and adjust your expectations. That might mean downsizing your living space in retirement, moving to an area that's more affordable on a whole, or working part-time to generate added income. If you're willing to make compromises, you can enjoy a fulfilling retirement and learn to live on less.

Furthermore, if you are willing to extend your career and focus on your savings, you can change your financial picture in retirement so you're more comfortable and less stressed. Workers 50 and over can currently contribute up to $6,500 a year to an IRA and $24,000 a year to a 401(k). Maxing out either limit could really work wonders for your nest egg, so even if you're behind on savings, all is not officially lost.