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Check Your Habits and Attitudes

Everyone looks forward to retirement. It is the When and the How Much that are questionable. Unless we are looking forward to an inheritance from a rich uncle, the less we save, the longer we work. How well we prepare now defines our future. How are you doing?

This checkup is a first step at helping you evaluate your financial health and identify any "early warning signs." By asking a few questions about your saving and financial behaviors, the checkup can offer a diagnosis and remedies. As you progress through the questions, keep in mind that there are no "right" answers. The goal is to assess your current financial strengths and risks. Answer the questions honestly. It shouldn't hurt a bit.


Think about your current approach to retirement savings. Do you know how much you'll need to retire? Have you personally begun to save for retirement? Click on the option that best describes your current status.

    I haven't thought about retirement yet and haven't started saving.
    I've thought about retirement, but haven't started saving for it.
    I've done some sporadic saving when I can afford it.
    I have some savings set aside for retirement, but I'm not very organized about it.
    I have been regularly saving and investing according to a specific plan.

When you consider investing for retirement, there's a lot to know! How would you rate your present level of knowledge about investing and financial planning?

    I don't know anything about investing or financial planning.
    I understand some of the basics, but I don't consider myself very knowledgeable.
    I am somewhat knowledgeable about financial planning, but I wish I knew more.
    I am very knowledgeable, especially compared to most other people I know.
    I am an expert at financial planning and investing.

When do you typically complete your taxes every year?

    I sometimes don't complete them until after the April 15th deadline.
    I complete them at the last minute, in the days on or before the April 15th deadline.
    I complete them in early April, a week or two before the deadline.
    I complete them in February or March, about two MONTHS before the deadline.
    I complete them as soon as I have the forms in January, months before the deadline.

What steps have you already taken to prepare for the future? Check as many of the following that you currently own, either by yourself or through an employer.

   A will
   Life Insurance
   Stocks, bonds or mutual funds (separate from your 401k)
   An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401(k)
   Other savings accounts (a bank account dedicated to savings, a Certificate of Deposit, etc.)