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Retirement Planning the Key to Financial Success

Retirement planning is oftentimes left on the back burner. Many people believe they do not have adequate income to plan for their future. They are living from paycheck to paycheck and never give retirement planning a second thought. Others are overwhelmed by the options and become so confused they throw in the towel.

Unfortunately, many people believe retirement planning is for older folks. The biggest mistake you can make is to wait until you reach your 40s or 50s to develop your retirement plan. Unless you're making a boatload of money, it will be extremely challenging to set aside enough funds to pay your expenses upon retirement.

In the ideal world, people would begin developing their retirement plan when they are young adults. Financial planning, money management, stocks, bonds and real estate investing would be required curriculum in educational institutions. The reality is, many Americans are investment-illiterate and have no comprehension of economics or finances, let alone planning ahead for their golden years.

Retirement planning doesn't have to be difficult, confusing or overwhelming. In fact, it can be downright exciting! There are endless opportunities which allow your money to work for you instead of you working for the money.

One of the most trusted resources for reliable retirement planning advice is AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). An advocate for retirees, AARP offers a comprehensive Financial Planning section on their website.

Everything you ever wanted to know about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Simplified Employee Pension (SEP), low-cost index investments, real estate investment trusts (REIT) and real estate investments can be found at www.aarp.org.

Social Security Online is another resource to obtain retirement planning information. Located at www.SocialSecurityOnline.gov, the website provides calculators, tools and financial planning forms which can help you determine social security benefits you may be entitled to upon retirement.

Many banks offer retirement planning services and provide free consultations to their customers. Oftentimes, financial and retirement planning brochures are available in the lobby. Next time you are in the bank, ask the teller or branch manager for retirement planning literature or arrange for a consultation.

When it comes to planning for retirement, investment companies are an excellent source for obtaining information. Investors can help you develop a diversified financial portfolio to ensure you achieve both long- and short-term financial goals.

While it's never too late to develop a retirement plan, the sooner you start the better off you will be. Feel free to peruse Simon Volkov's article library to learn more about retirement planning, investing, real estate and money management.