Making retirement decisions
When charting your course to a comfortable retirement, it seems there's no such thing as a long, straight path.
We'd all like to save 15 percent of our salary each year to feather our nest egg, but most of us take a detour or two along the way -- putting long-term savings temporarily on hold in years when we buy a house, lose a job or send a child to college.
As a result, many Americans on the cusp of retirement find they haven't saved enough, forcing them to scale back their living expenses, continue working or sock more money away during their last years of employment.
Some people also face the temptation to withdraw funds early from their 401(k) to pay off debt or finance a new business venture.
- Bankrate's calculator can help you figure out how big your nest egg should be.
- A companion calculator helps you determine how much income your savings will likely provide in your retirement.
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Indeed, many decisions must be made when managing one's nest egg -- from converting traditional IRAs to Roths, to consolidating 401(k) plans from past employers.
The following chapters help highlight some of the pitfalls and possibilities of retirement planning, giving investors the tools they need to make the right choices.