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Monday
Mar072011

Considering Retirement? Don't Put Off Planning

Jupiterimages/Pixland(NEW YORK) -- So you're planning for your retirement. Do you know what factors you need to consider?

Creating a retirement plan can be a fairly painless process, and one experts say you should not put off. The earlier you have a plan, the earlier you'll be able to implement it -- and the earlier you'll be able to see your nest egg growing.

First, you'll want to determine your retirement goals. Do you want to open up your own business after you retire? Buy a house in Florida and lay on the beach? Or do you want to volunteer around the world? No matter what you want to do, you are going to have to save a lot of money. Remember, social security will help, but the average payout is approximately $1,100 a month, so it is definitely something you cannot rely upon to take care of all your needs.

Once you have established your goals you will need to determine how much money you will need to reach those goals. There are many websites that have useful "retirement calculators" to help you find the level of savings you will need to achieve your goals while taking into account your current circumstances. A retirement calculator will allow you to adjust multiple variables to see how they can affect your retirement savings. For example, if you go with a riskier portfolio or if you take social security one year later than you expected, how will these things affect your retirement?

What adjustments should you make to your 401k? You can find a great example of a retirement calculator at schwab.com.

Now that you are well on your way to enjoying your golden years, keep in mind that goals and situations are constantly changing; what you wanted last year may not be your dream retirement this year. Experts advise prospective retirees to update their goals and savings strategy annually to keep up.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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