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Chapter 4. Your Best Chance at Retiremen... > How Do You Get What You Want? - Pg. 45

Your Best Chance at Retirement Is Your 401(k) 45 · What is the probability you will continue working for your current employer? (Be careful about relying too heavily on your current employers' pension and 401[k] match. Your next employer may not be so generous.) · What are the long-term projections for inflation? (Inflation has averaged about 3.1 percent over the past 70 years. In 2000 it was 3.5 percent. Currently it is around 3.75 percent.) · What is the probability you will receive Social Security at current estimates and inflation-protec- ted? Social Security projects its trust funds will dry up by 2035, unless Congress does something about it. Don't bet they'll act before it's too late. (See Chapter 23, "Social Security and Medicare," for more on Social Security and Medicare.) Terms to Know Life partner is the new, politically correct term for wife, husband, spouse, or significant other. The term "partner" may strike you as smacking a little too much of the business world. But if you are now in a relationship of commitment or intend to be, thinking of that other person as a business partner makes sense, for better or worse, in our context at least. · What life events could cause you to divert resources away from retirement? (New car, new house, marriage, divorce. Life happens.) · How will medical expenses in retirement impact your total retirement savings? All of the above are important questions--ones we would like to address in this book. Unfortunately, we don't have the time. (Maybe you need to pick up The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Great Retire- ment.) The important thing to remember here is that it is impossible to anticipate and deflect all the negative events in your life. Our advice: a good offense (save now and save often) is your best defense against events that could hurt your chances of retiring when you want and as you want. How Do You Get What You Want? Here is where we pull it all together. It's not enough to say, "I want to retire at age 57 with 100 percent of what I'm making now." You must have a plan to get it. Believe it or not, building your plan is very easy and will take no more than 60 minutes of your time. That's what we're going to do in Chapter 5, "Developing Your Retirement Plan." But before we do, we need to address the last step in our planning process .... Events That Might Sidetrack Your Retirement Strategy Just when you learned how to make ends meet, someone moved the ends. Let's fast forward about two, five, or even ten years. Ask yourself and your life partner what events might sidetrack your retirement. Think about that question for a moment and then list the answers here: 1. 2. 3. ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________