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A good financial adviser can help you assess your retirement income goal and create a plan to achieve it. Along with the many clients Pamela Kiernan encounters who haven't even attempted to calculate a number, she sees others who have such a huge figure in mind that it seems out of reach.

"They think they have to have 5 or 6 or 10 million dollars in order to retire, yet they have (only) $150,000 to $300,000. But the mere thought of making up the shortfall is so intimidating to them … that they don't know what to do," says Kiernan, a Certified Financial Planner with Merrill Lynch in Stamford, Conn.

According to Sampson, the accountability factor is a major benefit of working with a pro. "It's almost like an athlete (who) has to have a trainer," he says.


 

 

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