It's said that we human beings stand out from other species by virtue of our ability to think and plan ahead. While that may be true, most of us also have great trouble thinking about or preparing for the long term, as we're continuously caught up in everyday tasks and toil. Heck, it's difficult enough to plan something six months ahead, like a summer vacation. How on earth are we supposed to think about something in the distant future -- like retirement?
Nevertheless, thinking in advance and acting on those thoughts is key to being ready when the future becomes the present. The younger you are, the more distant your retirement -- and the greater your ability to compound your returns over time. That window of time is your greatest advantage.
In this collection, we try to answer the important questions:
- How much will I need to save for retirement in order to live comfortably?
- What are my goals?
- When should I start?
- What should I do?
- How much can I count on from Social Security?
- What costs might I run into once I've actually retired?
We all need to ask these questions, but with all our short-term preoccupations, we often wait too long to do so. These 13 Retirement Steps, along with a bevy of tools for running the numbers, can help you cut through the haze and see the realities that will make your golden years truly golden -- in fine Foolish fashion.
13 Steps to Retiring Foolishly
- Step 1: When Can I Retire?
- Step 2: What Will it Cost to Retire?
- Step 3: Free Money From a 401K
- Step 4: Choose the Right Retirement Account
- Step 5: Stocks or Bonds for Your Retirement Account?
- Step 6: Will Social Security be there for you in Retirement?
- Step 7: How Working Impacts Your Social Security Benefits
- Step 8: The Impact of Home Ownership on Retirement
- Step 9: Taxes Impact on Retirement Income
- Step 10: Spending in Retirement
- Step 11: Estate Planning
- Step 12: What Insurance Will I Need in Retirement?
- Step 13: Into the Future
Need more help? Consider our Rule Your Retirement service, which features a monthly newsletter, solid asset allocation and investing advice, high-powered financial-planning tools, and professionally staffed discussion boards.