Retirement Checkup for the New Year (CNN Money)
I save 15% of my salary each year in my 401(k), my company matches another 4.5% and I contribute the max to a Roth IRA. Am I doing enough to safely retire? — Dave K., Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
If you continue at the rate you’re saving, it’s hard to imagine you’ll come up short at retirement time. After all, you’re socking away money at more than double the rate of most 401(k) participants, plus you’re funding that Roth IRA.
But as important as diligent saving is, your savings rate alone can’t tell you whether you’re on track for a secure retirement. To know for sure, you’ve got to undertake a more comprehensive review of your retirement planning efforts.
You can do that by performing what I call my annual New Year’s Retirement-Planning Checkup. It consists of just three simple steps:
1. Figure the odds. There are so many unknowns and potential detours along the road to retirement — market setbacks, spates of unemployment, emergencies that drain savings — that you can never say that a secure retirement is a given.
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