Retirement is a life event that woefully few people think about until it is right at their doorstep.  And tragically, this can often be too late.  Many of us regard retirement as a time where we get the opportunity to rest from work and enjoy the last few years life has to give us.  However, we often don’t realize that the quality of our retirement depends on what we choose to do to prepare for it.

Start Early

One the most often-repeated yet ignored advice about preparing for retirement is to start early.  And

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just so it’s clear:  early means now.  Every year that goes by without saving for retirement is another year that your money does not get a chance to compound and grow.  Another way to start preparing now is to evaluate your situation and set realistic goals.  Consider the type of lifestyle you will lead during retirement and examine your options.  Be honest with yourself in determining how much you will need after you finish your career.

Get Educated

Once you figure out your own personal expectations, it’s time to get educated.  A lot of the terms surrounding retirement planning sound complicated and hard to understand.  The truth is that they aren’t; they’re just new concepts to you.  Talk with your employer about the retirement programs that your company offers.  If they don’t offer any, suggest they start one.  To learn about other retirement options, visit trustworthy sources on the internet to help you gain a better understanding of investment principles and which retirement plans apply to you.

Use It

Finally, once you have a retirement plan in place, use it.  Never forget that you’re the only person who’s going to fund your retirement, so keep adding to it.  And make a commitment that once you have contributed the money, you will not touch it until you retire.

While considering retirement may be scary, it is far more frightening to imagine retiring without sufficient resources.  So do yourself a favor and start planning now.

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