The old stool consisted of your defined-benefit pension, Social Security and savings. Those are all but gone. The number of employers offering a defined-benefit pension (which guarantees income for life) has dropped by two-thirds since 1990. Social Security benefits (another key source of lifetime income) have been eroded, and personal savings rates have shriveled in the past 20 years as folks counted on their house and the stock market to do the heavy lifting a failed strategy. The typical American homeowner now has less home equity than five years ago and not much more than 10 years ago, says Mac Hisey, president of AARP Financial. One in four homeowners has a mortgage that is larger than what their house is worth, and the stock market has been dead money for more than a decade. You'll need to fashion a new three-legged stool built on your 401(k) plan (make sure you are maxing out contributions), personal savings (live with a budget that includes an emergency fund and regular investment) and an immediate annuity to guarantee income for life. A 65-year-old can buy lifetime income of about $600 a month (with survivor benefits) for a onetime payment of $100,000. Price an annuity at immediateannuities.com.