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Ten Tips for a Financially Sound Retirement
CNBC.com | September 26, 2011 | 09:46 AM EDT

If saving for retirement was a struggle before the financial crisis of 2008, imagine how lost jobs, flat wages, underwater mortgages, higher energy and food costs, and local and state tax hikes have combined to make the goal even harder.

Insufficient retirement money is the number one financial worry among 66 percent of Americans, according to a Gallup poll . Yet many of them have long-term retirement savings plans.

Americans who don’t save for retirement often outlive their assets. Of those folks, 68 percent have less than $1,000 in savings, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, EBRI. “More and more in today’s environment, people really have to take responsibility for their own retirement security,” says Jean Setzfand, AARP’s vice president for financial security.

So, think of saving for retirement as a second job.

Here are some strategies to help you plan for a financially secure retirement. You may not be able to achieve all of them, but the more the better.

  • 1. Be debt-free before retirement
  • Debt during retirement increases one’s expenses while eroding one’s nest egg.

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