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Retirement Investing: 3 Easy Steps to Find Out Where You Stand

Everyone knows it's important to save for retirement. But recent studies show that most people don't have a clue what they own in their retirement portfolios, let alone why they own it.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, gives you three easy steps to follow to get a handle on your retirement portfolio. First, Dan recommends gathering your records, with most recent statements to make a list of all the investments you have. Second, for each item on your list, figure out what type of investment it is, breaking funds into their component parts based on whether they invest in stocks, bonds, other investments, or a mix of each. Finally, Dan notes that if you need help, get it -- but be careful about using advisors whose primary goal is to get you to transfer your assets to them. Ideally, paying a fixed fee for an objective view is much better than a "free" look that involves an expensive relationship later on. Dan concludes that by following these three steps, you'll have a much better handle on how you're doing with your retirement planning.

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Dan Caplinger
TMFGalagan

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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