The Best Tool for Retirement Readiness

If you're like most Americans, you're dreaming of the day of retirement.  When you can set your own schedule and do all the things you couldn't do when you were working.  But will you be financially ready when  the time comes?

A recent study (July, 2011) by Brightwork Partners concluded that individuals who receive professional advice are much more likely to be prepared for retirement, no matter what their income level might be.  The survey polled 3,290 workers aged 18 to 65 and assigned a “lifetime income score” projecting the percentage of current income each person could expect in retirement , including investments, Social Security and other sources.  Those using advisors, not surprisingly, scored higher than those who didn’t.   The gap between the two, however, was significant: the median lifetime income score for those using an advisor was 82%, versus 61% for those who did not have a paid advisor, with the gap being most significant at higher income levels.   A major conclusion from the study is that retirement readiness is mostly about a person’s set of practices (behaviors), use of available tools (knowledge and skills), and partnerships (professional relationships). 

October is Financial Planning Month -- now is the time to take action to plan for your retirement readiness.  If you don't currently work with a planner, go to the Financial Planning Assocation website ( to use their free planner search tool to find a Certified Financial Planner™ in your area.