Editors' pick: Originally published Oct. 18.

Many Americans lament the reality that they'll face tough financial times in retirement.

According to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 45% of Baby Boomers expect to experience a reduced standard of living in retirement. "Meanwhile, 83% of Generation X workers anticipate they will have a harder time achieving financial security than their parents did, and just 18% of Millennials foresee a comfortable retirement," the study adds.

Having to reduce lifestyle expectations in retirement is a refrain money managers hear all the time.

"Sadly, those study results aren't surprising, because we often hear from people who have real concerns about outliving their money," says Joshua Mellberg, an investment advisor and founder of J.D. Mellberg Financial Investment. "So many aspects related to a traditional retirement have changed. For one, people are living longer, which means they need either to save more money or find ways to make what they do save last."

Couple that with lower-than-expected retirement savings, worries about Social Security and health care costs, and you have a perfect storm brewing among U.S. retirees.

To battle back, Americans in or near retirement should study the financial habits of successful retirees, and match their efforts. "Mainly, that means controlling the things you can control," adds Mellberg.

Start with these five financial habits that savvy retirees have embraced in their post-working years:

5. Retire based on your financial assets, not your age - Traditionally, when people think about retirement, they pick a target age rather than a target amount in their portfolio, Mellberg sasys. But that may not be the right approach. "While you might have a certain age in mind, it can be more worthwhile to create a retirement plan that's based on your finances," he explains. "That will give you a much better chance of having enough money to last you the rest of your life."

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