Overcoming inertia to save for retirement

Super-organized Stan: No clear plan
Super-organized Stan: No clear plan © Yuri Arcurs/

"Super-organized Stan" worked hard and managed to save for retirement. What else is there for him to do?

Plenty. "People save without a plan," says Bill Baldwin, president of Pillar Financial Advisors in Waltham, Mass. "They do helter-skelter planning."

Calculate. Sure, you've amassed "a lot." But is it enough? It's great if you're among those who have calculated their income needs in retirement. If you haven't calculated your needs yet, try using a retirement calculator, for starters.

Get expert feedback. When you have $100,000 to $200,000, it's probably time for some professional guidance. Opt for a fee-only planner who doesn't earn a commission by selling financial products. A good resource is the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors at

Take stock. Excessive fees, lackluster returns or unbalanced portfolios can undermine your efforts. Do a financial review annually to make sure you're saving smart. Tactical asset allocation funds, which are actively managed, or periodically rebalanced strategic asset allocation funds can get you the right mix without the hassle of micromanaging your investments.

Remember heirs and insurance. Your annual retirement review should include a look at all of your paperwork. Are beneficiary forms current? If not, you may end up leaving that annuity to your ex-husband. You should also consider getting long-term care insurance.


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