We all lead busy lives with our careers, family and many other obligations. Whether you have 20 or more years until retirement or your golden years are right down the road, if we are saving many of us are doing it blindly.
A good place to start is with a retirement calculator which can give you a general idea of how much you should be saving. There are many versions out there but our favorite is through Bankrate.com: http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/retirement/retirement-calculator.aspx
Did the numbers scare you? If so, just remember that it is never too late to start saving. There are a few steps you can take right away to get back on the road to saving for a comfortable retirement.
First, maximize your tax deferred accounts to the extent that your budget and IRS guidelines allow. For 2010 the tax deferred contribution limit is $16,500. If you are over age 50 you can make “catch-up” contributions which allows you to put an additional $5,500 into your 401(k) or IRA account.
In addition, your investment portfolio should be customized based on many factors. Some of these include your age, risk tolerance, and income requirements for retirement.
You should also be poised to make changes based on what is going on in the financial markets and in your own life. More often than not, this is best accomplished by working with a qualified financial advisor who has the ability to look objectively at your specific situation and make sure that your finances, insurance, taxes and will/trusts are all in order. If there are pit falls in your road to a secure retirement, the sooner you identify them the easier it will be to fix them.