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Retirement Investing - Are You Planning For Your Golden Years?

Retirement. It rolls off the lips of the working class with wishful anticipation. Thoughts of sandy beaches, world travel, golf, and sightseeing immediately follow. But for most, neither the thoughts of retirement nor its plans have been preceded by a structured stock trading plan to arrive there with sufficient money to enjoy it. For these people, it is time to become familiar with retirement investing.

For many people, the dedication to retirement investing, and the ability to do so, has fallen significantly short of their needs for retirement. According to research, while most have had the opportunity, approximately one third of American workers are not setting aside money for retirement investing in any form. This shortfall includes stock market strategies, personal savings, and retirement plans. On one end of the spectrum, more than a forth of those under the age of 25 do not understand planning for retirement; on the other end, more than half of those over 65 still do not know how much they need to maintain their current standard of living. In both instances, these people are ideal candidates for retirement investing.

Retirement investing, simply stated, is an accounting of assets and means of accumulating wealth in order to fund oneís lifestyle after retirement. With such a large percentage of workers neither understanding a retirement plan nor their future needs, retirement investing may be more important than ever. In other words, many times the company 401K cannot provide the means to completely support life after retirement, but when saving isnít enough, many need help learning how to play the stock market.

Retirement investing can start with a simple check by the investor. Companies are required by law to provide summary statements of pension and savings funds. Many times, it is possible to evaluate progress toward retirement simply by reading the material provided. All too often, however, the employee neither understands the stock market information provided nor utilizes the company resources provided to teach more about savings or long term investing.

After seeing a problem arising from lack of a stock market investing education and understanding of 401K, one company developed a planning report called ďGap AnalysisĒ. This one page report clearly identified the needs of an employee at retirement age and the projections of their 401K at retirement age. Such a report can be the wake-up call that an employee needs to begin planning for the future. In cases where the company fund isnít adequate, the employee can consider the option of learning about the stock market or pursuing an option trading education.

Information is available to determine oneís long-term financial needs. Sometimes it is learning more about saving; other times, it is learning how to invest. Most employees can go to a pension administrator in their company for data. There are financial advisors available for a more comprehensive evaluation. It is even possible to participate in Internet stock trading or self-evaluate by performing gap analysis. Ultimately, the responsibility for the future lies with the employee; the person looking to walk on sun-lit beaches, and enjoy all that the world has to offer in retirement, needs to do the work to prepare for this future. When planning for the future, tomorrow starts today.


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