Take this quiz to see how financially savvy you've been about planning for retirement
by Kerry Hannon, June 15, 2011|Comments: 0
How did you do?
32-36— Whoo-hoo. You’re ready to roll. By all accounts, you’re well on your way to a retirement where you can live the life you want. You’re financially savvy and have done all the right things to prepare for your next chapter: planning ahead, running the numbers to see how much you will need, budgeting, saving consistently and investing for growth and income. People who are able to develop a plan and stick to it tend to accrue wealth. Even if you face unexpected shocks making you digress from your plan for a period of time, you’ll likely be able to weather it like a champ.
24–31 — You’ve been doing the legwork, and it shows. You’re well aware that it pays to know the basics of investing. You’ve got a grip on the big picture that lies ahead from a dollar-and-cents point of view. That said, you might need to ramp it up. The key is to take advantage of any retirement plans offered by your current employer to the max and have enough sources of retirement income to enable you to delay tapping into Social Security. That’s because, at 65, healthy people are likely to live for another 20 or 30 years. You want to be sure you have enough to keep you living in the style you envision.
16-23 — Uh-oh. If you haven’t calculated how much you will need to have saved, at least in a ballpark fashion, do so pronto. This really helps you focus on the need to save. People who run the numbers are more apt to save more and are better prepared for a worry-free retirement. Boost savings both in and out of retirement plans. Every little bit helps. Seek out advice from a pro if you’re feeling overwhelmed with investment choices. Cousin Joe might not know what’s best for your risk tolerance and retirement goals. Afterall, retirement planning isn’t personal, it’s business.
15 or below — Buck up. It looks like you’ve given little thought to retirement. Clearly you need to take responsibility and make an effort to budget, calculate, and develop a retirement savings plan. Talk to a professional financial planner. A good planner can develop an overall financial plan and advise you on the right mix of investments to meet your individual retirement goals. If you can’t make fundamental adjustments to your spending and saving patterns, plan to keep working. Lots of people have to. But that, too, takes planning. It may mean heading back for more classwork and training in the evenings or weekends, networking and spending time with people doing what you have in mind, or moonlighting.