1. Start saving early so your funds can work for you.
2. Save often and make sure your retirement portfolio includes savings vehicles that balance the amount of risk and reward, like fixed indexed annuities which offer a steady, guaranteed lifetime income stream while protecting you from market volatility.
3. Know your retirement goals and adjust your savings based on the kind of lifestyle you want. Consider things like food, healthcare and housing, as well as elderly parents, children and grandchildren to decide what retirement plan will give you the peace of mind you're looking for.
4. Get a clear picture of your retirement needs. The average couple will spend $240,000 on health costs alone during retirement.
5. Understand your Social Security benefits. The average monthly Social Security benefit for retired workers is $1,237. Before you retire, visit www.socialsecurity.gov to find out what benefits you should plan for.
6. Contribute, if your company offers matching, 401(k) or profit sharing options. Every little bit you save helps in the long run. Find out how.
7. Fixed Indexed Annuities (FIAs) can give you peace of mind. FIAs are a key component of a balanced financial plan that help you moderate risk and reward. With FIAs, your money has the ability to grow risk-free; your principal is protected and will never decline in value.
8. Balance your retirement plan by having several different income sources. Consider a mix of market-driven plans such as 401(k)s, mutual funds or securities, along with safe, guaranteed plans like Social Security benefits and FIAs. It's all about balancing the risk and reward.
9. Review your spending plan with your spouse or "money buddy" on a bi-monthly basis so you will be able to reach your financial goals and attain fiscal accountability.
10. Find a consultant if you need help with the retirement financial planning process.
11. Don't touch your retirement savings. Many retirement plans have penalties for taking out money too soon.
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