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Colleen's Corner

Asset Allocation

Often financial "experts" make asset allocation difficult to understand. My goal in this series of articles is for you to understand asset allocation thoroughly, in an easy to understand format.
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Your Retirement Future

Colleen Mulder-Seward, MBA
Retirement Calculator, Inc.
Your Retirement Future

How do you picture your retirement future? Is it bright and comfortable or dark and laborious?  What are your retirement dreams?  Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."  You, and only you, have control over your retirement future. Use these steps to ensure you get the retirement you want.

Start Now

The sooner you start, the more likely that you will meet your retirement goals - both financially and emotionally.  Even if you are late (over fifty) to the retirement planning stage, there is no need to surrender to a bleak retirement future. Start Late, Finish Rich is a good book to read for you late comers

Set Your Goals

If you do not know your retirement dream goals, how can you ever expect to reach them? One of the first steps to ensure a comfortable and rewarding retirement future is to determine your dream goals. Where do you plan to live? If you are planning to move after retirement, is the new location less or more expensive than where you live now? What hobbies do you plan to participate in retirement?  Do you have the funds to pursue these?

Educate Yourself

To keep informed about retirement topics, try a FREE membership to Retirement Intelligence Information Services. At no cost to join, you will receive a bi-monthly newsletter full of financial information to inform and empower you to have a successful retirement. As an added bonus, www.retirementcalc.com will include the Retirement Calculator Software Version 2.0 (a $24.95 value seen live on CBS TV) for FREE. 

Know Your Needs

Most financial planners suggest that you will need at least 75 percent of your pre-retirement pay, to ensure a comfortable retirement. This percent comes from a combination of a pension, Social Security and personal savings.  Because Social Security and pensions plans are in jeopardy, it is up to you to fund your entire retirement.

To find out how your current retirement plan measures up, use the retirement calculator found at www.retirementcalc.com.

Pay Yourself First

David Bach has written a great book titled The Automatic Millionaire.  The premise of the book is to put aside money for yourself first, then pay everyone else. Combine this with setting up automatic savings and investment plans for your retirement - and you have a recipe for retirement success.

Hands Off

Just as important as saving enough and investing your savings wisely, is not touching your retirement funds. By not using your money set aside your retirement, you will allow your money to grow at a compound rate and help ensure that your dreams of a comfortable retirement come true. Also, in the case of pre-tax retirement accounts, you will avoid early withdrawal penalties.  

Making Your Dreams a Reality

I hope your picture of your retirement future is a little brighter. Remember you control your retirement future.  Following the preceding steps can help you successfully reach your retirement goals.

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