What Everybody Should Know About Retirement Planning

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/There’s more to retirement than sitting on a nest egg, especially if you’re just getting into the game. Many people find it difficult or impossible to pay into a retirement account while raising a family or simply covering the cost of living. Others are distrustful of the markets, wary of incompetent financial advisers, or simply overwhelmed by the inexplicable complexity of retirement planning.

So what’s a person to do? The short answer is: take charge and stay informed. If the data tell us anything, it’s that financial literacy and proactive management of your money can help turn the tides in your favor.

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A crisis is brewing

If you ask around, most people will say that there’s a retirement problem in the United States. In fact, surveys suggest that 92 percent of people believe there is a retirement crisis in America. Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, issued a report called “The Retirement Crisis and a Plan to Solve It.” While the federal government sometimes tries to address problems that don’t actually exist, Harkin’s report lays out a compelling case for the existence of a retirement crisis.