Retirement is the dream around which many people base all their financial planning. How much should you save, where should you invest, when to start taking Social Security...and so on and so forth.
There are hundreds of millions of articles on Google to help you answer those questions. Just a simple request for "How much should I save for retirement" turns up 322,000,000 articles. And that's just one topic!
The best advice, however, can come from great thinkers and investors, who share their knowledge based on their experiences. To help you plan for retirement, here are 13 quotes from people with the know-how to guide you to success.
1. Create a financial plan
"Smart financial planning -- such as budgeting, saving for emergencies, and preparing for retirement -- can help households enjoy better lives while weathering financial shocks."
-- Ben Bernanke, former Federal Reserve chairman
2. Once you make a plan, stick to it
"The best way to measure your investing success is not by whether you're beating the market, but by whether you've put in place a financial plan and a behavioral discipline that are likely to get you where you want to go."
-- Benjamin Graham, author of The Intelligent Investor and considered the "father of value investing"
3. Take advantage of your workplace retirement plan
"If you're just starting out in the workforce, the very best thing you can do for yourself is to get started in your workplace retirement plan. Contribute enough to grab any matching dollars your employer is offering (aka the last free money on earth)."
-- Jean Chatzky, financial journalist and media personality
4. Invest in the stock market
"How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case."
-- Robert G. Allen, investment adviser and author
5. Keep your emotions out of your investments
"A lot of people with high IQs are terrible investors because they've got terrible temperaments. You need to keep raw, irrational emotion under control."
--Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway
6. Don't try to time the market with your retirement accounts
"The idea that a bell rings to signal when to get into or out of the stock market is simply not credible. After nearly 50 years in this business, I don't know anybody who has done it successfully and consistently. I don't even know anybody who knows anybody who has."
-- Jack Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group
7. Stay calm through challenging times
"History provides a crucial insight regarding market crises: They are inevitable, painful, and ultimately surmountable."
-- Shelby M.C. Davis, philanthropist and businessman
8. Be willing to be a bored investor
"If investing is entertaining, if you're having fun, you're probably not making any money. Good investing is boring."
-- George Soros, billionaire investor and philanthropist
9. Live below your means
"Financial peace isn't the acquisition of stuff. It's learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can't win until you do this."
-- Dave Ramsey, radio host and best-selling author
10. Continue your financial education
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
-- Benjamin Franklin, American statesman, inventor, writer, and diplomat
11. Don't rely on Social Security
"Our nation's Social Security Trust Fund is depleting at an alarming rate, and failure to implement immediate reforms endangers the ability of Americans to plan for their retirement with the options and certainty they deserve."
-- Pete Sessions, Texas Republican, former 11-term member of the House of Representatives
12. Be an ardent saver
"Ever since I've been saving money and not spending it on jewelry, I've been getting way richer."
-- 21 Savage, rapper, songwriter, and record producer
13. Stay out of debt
"I have too many credit cards. You know what happened? Someone stole one and I didn't notice. I noticed when I got that bill. Whoa! It was so much less! I'm letting him keep it. I'm saving money!"
-- Rita Rudner, comedian
Try not to feel overwhelmed by the variety of advice given, as the quotes all fit together nicely. To begin your retirement planning, the basic advice is to save as much money as you can, stay out of debt, and live below your means. That will put you in a position to accumulate the funds you need. By creating a financial plan, you'll be able to put everything in perspective and learn how to get from point A to point B.
The next step is to invest in the stock market so your savings can grow into wealth. By not jumping in and out of stocks, avoiding market timing, staying calm, and keeping your emotions in check, you should accumulate enough funds for a secure retirement. Everyone from Ben Franklin to Rita Rudner is in agreement with that.