Steve Vernon, FSA, MAAA – Research Scholar, Stanford Center on Longevity

Steve Vernon, FSA, is a Research Scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity, and is President of Rest-of-Life Communications.


Steve Vernon shares practical strategies and ideas for enhancing finances, health, and lifestyle for the “rest-of-life” life phase, also known as retirement. With an effective mix of humor, stories, video clips, pictures, music, and cold hard actuarial analysis, he provides hope for working Americans with pervasive fear and anxiety about retirement.

Steve is one of the most sought-after retirement experts in the country due to his surprising and inspiring insights. He is quoted frequently in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USAToday, BusinessWeek, Fortune Magazine, Kiplinger’s, and Money Magazine. He also writes occasional columns for Retirement Weekly.


In both of his roles as Research Scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity and as the President of Rest-of-Life Communications, Steve is active with research, writing, and speaking on the most challenging issues facing retirees today, including finance, health, and lifestyle. For more than 35 years, he has helped Fortune 1000 employers design, manage and communicate their retirement programs.

Steve Vernon is active with research, writing, and speaking on the most challenging issues facing retirees today, including finance, health, and lifestyle. His clients at Rest-of-Life Communications have included AARP, Merrill Lynch, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Weyerhaeuser, the Royal Bank of Canada, Sempra Energy, USC and Esterline Corporation. While at Watson Wyatt, his clients included Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Chevron, Unocal, Teledyne Technologies, Times Mirror, City of Los Angeles, H.F. Ahmanson & Company (Home Savings), Nordstrom and RAND Corporation.

Steve retired as a Vice President from Watson Wyatt in 2006, after a 25-year career, and consulted to Mercer from 2010 to 2012. He currently serves as a member of the Institutional Retirement Income Council (IRIC). He is a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries, and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Irvine, with a double major in mathematics and social science.

Publications and Presentations by Steve Vernon, FSA

Steve writes a twice-weekly blog column on retirement strategies for CBS MoneyWatch, and has authored six books on retirement planning. His most recent book is Retirement Game-Changers: Strategies for a Healthy, Financially Secure, and Fulfilling Long Life, released in July 2018.

He is an experienced speaker with over 300 presentations, keynote addresses and workshops on his books Don’t Work Forever!, Live Long & Prosper!, and Recession-Proof Your Retirement Years (scroll down) as well as his DVD/workbook package The Quest for Long Life, Health and Prosperity. He has addressed audiences all over North America, ranging from professional conferences, lunch/dinner clubs, women’s executive organizations, employee groups, union organizations and executive retreats. Audience sizes have ranged from 20 to over 1,000.

Steve’s recent papers and reports include:

  • Optimizing Retirement Income by Integrating Retirement Plans, IRAs, and Home Equity: A Framework for Evaluating Retirement Income Decisions, Stanford Center on Longevity
  • The MORE Design: Integrating Psychological Science and Behavioral Economics to Engineer Better Outcomes with Human Resource, Benefits, and Retirement Program, Stanford Center on Longevity
  • Retirement Income Programs: The Next Step in the Transition from DB to DC Retirement Plans, Journal of Retirement
  • A Portfolio Approach to Retirement Income Security, Journal of Retirement
  • The Decision to Retire: Research-Based Recommendations for Individuals and Employers, Stanford Center on Longevity
  • Optimizing Retirement Income Solutions in DC Retirement Plans: A Framework for Building Retirement Income Portfolios, Stanford Center on Longevity
  • The Next Evolution in Defined Contribution Retirement Plans: A Guide for DC Plan Sponsors to Implementing Retirement Income Programs, Stanford Center on Longevity
  • Foundations in Research for Regulatory Guidelines for the Design & Operation of Retirement Income Solutions in DC Plans, Stanford Center on Longevity
  • Retirement Income in DC Plans: The Next Evolution in Plan Design, Benefits Magazine
  • The Role of Annuities in Retirement, Journal of Retirement

Steve produces unbiased, trusted information and strategies to help working people prepare for their retirement years. His latest books are available on Amazon at the links below:

Retirement Game-Changers: Strategies for a Healthy, Financially Secure, and Fulfilling Long Life

Plan for the 21st century retirement! We face game-changing challenges in our retirement years, including longer lives than our parents and grandparents, the demise of traditional pension and retiree health plans, periodic stock market crashes that can derail our retirement, and sky-high medical and long-term care costs.
Retirement Game-Changers helps navigate these challenges in the transition from work life into retirement.

Recession-Proof Your Retirement Years: Simple Retirement Planning Strategies That Work Through Thick or Thin.

This retirement planning guidebook provides an easy-to-follow, step-by-step program for planning your retirement years. It will show you how to survive future downturns, so that you can focus on enjoying your rest-of-life.
Covers retirement planning holistically, discussing strategies for Social Security benefits, and much more.

Money for Life: Turn Your IRA and 401(k) Into a Lifetime Retirement Paycheck

This book addresses the concerns of a wide range of people who are planning their retirement and hoping to create a retirement income from their retirement savings. With the demise of traditional pension plans, this is a significant and important challenge as boomers approach retirement years.
Many are now on their own to generate a reliable, lifetime retirement income. Money for Life provides unbiased help.

Steve also published these three books with John Wiley & Sons, also available at Amazon at the links below:

Live Long and Prosper: Invest in Your Happiness, Health and Wealth for Retirement and Beyond
In Live Long and Prosper!, Steve Vernon unveils a new way of thinking that will truly help you live a more happy, healthy, and prosperous life. Based on the latest research and planning strategies typically reserved for large corporations, it will help you answer these important questions:
* Do you have enough money to retire?
… and much more!

“For this next phase of my life, I want to use my skills and life experience to help people with important life planning – to help them live long and prosper!”

Employee Benefits: Valuation, Analysis and Strategies (Employee Benefits Human Resources Library)
Not intended as an actuarial textbook but as a reference for human resource and financial managers, consultants and actuaries, auditors and accountants, and attorneys. In 17 chapters, coverage encompasses benefit program design strategies, employer tax and payment issues, nondiscrimination requirements, the role of employee benefits in corporate change, and various other analysis strategies and requirements topics.

Don’t Work Forever!: Simple Steps Baby Boomers Must Take to Ever Retire
Attention Baby Boomers: Who would have thought it’s time for us to start planning for retirement? Not convinced? Take this simple quiz:
Do you miss David Letterman because you can’t stay up that late?
Ladies, are some of the men you find attractive bald? Men, do some of the women you find attractive have a few gray hairs?
Do you wear relaxed fit clothes?
Do you eat “lite” foods? Read on!


Steve graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Irvine with a double major in Mathematics and Social Science, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Steve serves on relevant committees for the Society of Actuaries:

  • Committee for Post-Retirement Needs and Risks
  • Task force for Individual Post-Retirement Financial Strategies
  • Task force for Segmenting the Middle Market: Retirement Risks and Solutions

“What’s different about Steve is that he understands people — not just plans and financial issues and numbers. He knows human nature and is empathetic to people. So when he talks to you, he really talks to you. You get the message. It’s his understanding that makes him such a great communicator.”

Glenn Bonci, Principal, The Adobe Group, and Programs Director, Northwest Compensation Forum

“I heard Steve Vernon speak at a dinner sponsored by Watson Wyatt. Steve’s approach is particularly sensitive, honest, needed, and upbeat. He does not simply dwell on “growing money for a comfortable retirement,” as most gurus tend to do. Instead he offers a realistic blueprint that links living a fulfilled and healthy life to planning sensibly for whatever the future may bring. I, for one, want to pursue retirement Steve’s way!”

Lois A. Vitt, Ph.D, Chair and Founding Director, Institute for Socio-Financial Studies, and Editor-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of Retirement and Finance

“Steve was the luncheon speaker for our annual chapter conference of the Western Pension and Benefits Conference. His insights were very valuable because they focused equally on both work and life issues. Steve’s presentation caused me to think carefully about personal values and career choices that face all of us. He speaks with conviction regarding topics that he has obviously deeply contemplated.”

Jay Marran, Merrill Lynch. Financial planner and Chairman, Speakers Committee, Western Pension and Benefits Conference

When audiences are asked to use numeric ratings, Steve’s presentations and workshops consistently receive the highest ratings. Samples are available upon request. Sample feedback from Steve’s audience evaluation forms:

· “Great way to start the conference, it opened the mind… “
· “Wonderful presentation, very appropriate, now I hope everyone else listens…”
· “Very good! One of the very best.”
· “Excellent speaker. Engaging and inspiring. I feel motivated to begin pursuing a healthier lifestyle.”
· “Would go to his session again!”
· “Excellent info/thought provoking/clear speaking, very relevant personally.”
· “A lot of terrific information presented in a way that’s easy to understand.”
· “Very practical, full of wisdom.”
· “Awesome! Very informative!”
· “Very good. He opened my eyes to good health as playing a part in my retirement planning.”
· “Very clear and positive. Impressed with the way he connects the whole retirement picture. “
· “His comments are very timely.”

Have Steve Vernon, FSA speak at your event!

Steve Vernon, FSA is one of many experienced speakers and keynote presenters on a variety of topics for your retirement professional development or consumer group.

Inquire here about having Steve Vernon speak at your conference or event!

Learn more about all Retirement Speakers Bureau presenters to find the one that’s best for your event.

Retirement Resource Center webinar courses available from Steve Vernon

Plan for the 21st Century Retirement – Steve Vernon

Older workers face a series of critical decisions as they transition from the workforce into retirement.

These decisions include deciding when to retire, whether to work part-time, when to claim Social Security, how to deploy savings in retirement, selecting medical insurance, protecting against the risk of long-term care, where to live, how to enhance your health and longevity, and nurturing your social portfolio.

All these decisions are influenced by behavioral economics factors. Retirement professionals are ideally positioned to help their clients navigate these decisions.

How to “Pensionize” Any IRA or 401(k) Plan – Steve Vernon

This webinar introduces the Spend Safely in Retirement Strategy, which is a straightforward method for middle-income workers to generate reliable, lifetime retirement income from any IRA or 401(k) plan.

This project analyzed and compared 292 retirement income strategies, using stochastic forecasts and efficient frontiers, powerful analytical techniques that large defined benefit plans use to devise funding and investment strategies.

Retirement Insight and TrendsVisit Retirement Insight and Trends, InFRE’s quarterly newsletter for retirement professionals, for a summary article of this 2018 presentation.

Optimizing Retirement Income Solutions in Defined Contribution Retirement Plans – Steve Vernon, Wade Pfau

Learn how recent Society of Actuaries research can be applied to retirement income options and investing decisions for DC plan sponsors, participants and consumers.

This presentation highlights conclusions from a four-phase research project sponsored by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Stanford Center on Longevity. It illustrates an analytical framework for evaluating retirement income generators (RIGs) that could be offered in defined contribution retirement plans, and how to use a diversified portfolio approach for developing retirement income strategies.

Retirement Insight and TrendsVisit Retirement Insight and Trends, InFRE’s quarterly newsletter for retirement professionals, for a summary article of this 2017 presentation.

Money for Life: Help your plan participants avoid going broke in retirement – Steve Vernon

There is a cultural shift that taking place in DB Plans today regarding employee retirement income and the roles that played in helping employees successfully transition to retirement using their DC savings.

People with a DC plan as their primary saving vehicle have not only the personal responsibility of funding their retirement, but they are at risk of running out of money.
People need to take important planning steps to secure their future retirement income. Employers need to do more with plan design and education to help employees generate retirement income from their defined contribution savings.

Retirement Insight and TrendsVisit Retirement Insight and Trends, InFRE’s quarterly newsletter for retirement professionals, for a summary article of this 2018 presentation.

Retirement Insight and Trends The Retirement Resource Center YouTube channel features short clips of presentatations by many of our speakers. Please visit Retirement Resource Center YouTube channel to view a short clip of this presentation.

Read the Key Retirement Takeaways by Steve Vernon from “How to “Pensionize” Any IRA or 401(k) Plan”:

#retirementincome #stevevernon #retirementresourcecenter #keyretirementtakeaways
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Posted in: Lifetime Income, PLAN for Retirement Readiness, PROTECT from Retirement Risks, PROVIDE Retirement Income, Retirement Coaching, Retirement Distributions, Retirement Spending, Speakers for Consumer Events, Speakers for Retirement Professional Development

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