Retirement

Retirement is your time to do what you want. Do you wonder what it would be like to choose what to do with your time? Do you dream about having many more options—working less, running a business, volunteering your time to worthy causes, golfing, traveling? Whatever your dream, the key to making it happen will be having the money to make your dream come true.

Just a generation ago, most people lived five or ten years past retirement and enjoyed a simple life on their pension's fixed income. Today, most people expect to have a second life—20 years or more—to do the things they've put off for years. This includes the 79 million baby boomers who are beginning to enter an energetic fourth quarter (or last third) of their lives. Recent studies show that about 80 percent of the baby boomers expect to work in some way and to some extent during their "retirement" years. Whatever your age, you can count on having a lot of choices that require savings and investing to make them happen.

The Big Picture

Retirement may seem a long way off, but the earlier you start saving, the more likely you are to have the kind of retirement you want.

Worksheets and interactive guides can help you figure out how much you need and how much to save each month to get there.

How to make the most of the plan you have at work, whatever kind it is.

The plan you have at work may not provide you the retirement you want. Consider other options including Social Security, private savings, IRAs, and personal assets.

There are lists to make to keep track of things, one is included here.

How Much Money Will You Need?

There are many exercises or worksheets you can use to help you figure out what you will need. The calculators "crunch the numbers" you give them to determine how much money you will need from various sources to get the income you will want during your retirement years.

Social Security will supply some of your retirement income. To get the all the benefits you've earned, you will have to wait to a certain age to retire. If you were born in 1960 or later, your full retirement age is 67. Learn more about your Social Security benefits at http://www.ssa.gov.

Financial planners estimate that you'll need an average of 70-80 percent of your highest working income to live comfortably during retirement. If you were making $50,000, that would be $35,000 to $40,000 per year. This income estimate will be based upon your current situation.

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