Last Updated Nov 11, 2010 5:16 PM EST
To help you keep on track to have the kind of retirement you really want, here are five warning signs that your retirement planning needs some attention:
- You don't have a ballpark idea of the amount of retirement savings you need in your IRAs and 401k plan to generate the retirement income that you need. Most people underestimate how long they'll live and how much money they need in their IRAs and 401k plan.
- You don't have a good understanding of the financial resources you actually have. At any age, it's a good idea to compile a retirement planning folder -- on paper or online -- which contains your annual statements from Social Security, your IRA and 401k account statements, any booklets from your employer that describe your pension or retiree medical benefits, and any other resources you'll need to generate retirement income and protect against medical risks.
- You tell yourself you don't need to worry too much about retirement planning because you'll just keep working. Unfortunately, there are two flaws with this thinking. First, you might not be able to find work in your later years. And second, there will come a time when you're no longer physically able to work and will need to rely on financial resources.
- You haven't thought very much about what you'll do or where you'll live in your retirement years. Even worse, you haven't discussed these issues with your spouse or life partner, if applicable. The people who do best in retirement have a rich social life, which can not only increase your enjoyment of life but improve your health and longevity as well.
- You're overweight, have high blood pressure, and/or have high blood cholesterol. These symptoms increase the chances that you'll incur a chronic, debilitating, and expensive condition in your later years, and decrease the odds that you'll be able to work. Healthy lifestyle choices can significantly reduce the odds of incurring these expensive conditions.
If you take things one step at a time, over the next few weeks and months, you'll see substantial progress. And having good plans in place will let you focus on what's really important -- enjoying your life!
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